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Born January 17th, 1703. 

DiedIMarch 2nd, 1791. 

• The best of all is, God is with us. 



Canadian Methodism 



we s l !■: y build i s <; s. 

Montreal: C. W. COATF.S. Halifax: S. F. IIUFSTIS. 

Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year 
one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, by William Briggs, 
in the office of the Minister of Agriculture, at Ottawa. 


T N this book representatives of the different branches of which 
the united Methodist Church in this country is now com- 
posed, give from their respective points of view a brief record of 
the historical development of Methodism in this land. No con- 
trol is sought to be exercised over the expression of individual 
opinion. It is possible that in the treatment of what were at 
the time strongly disputed topics, there may be expressed some 
variety of judgment ; but as these are now dead issues, with 
respect to which we can agree to differ, it is thought best to leave 
untouched such expressions. It is a happy thought that at the 
close of the first century of Methodism in Canada all these causes 
of dispute and of difference between brethren are now laid aside, 
and that we can calmly survey what was once a hotly disputed 
field. At no previous period in the history of Methodism in 
this land could this have been possible, and in no other land 
beneath the sun is it possible yet. 

The different phases of church life and church work — mission- 
ary, educational, literary, statistical and the like — are treated 
by persons having special facilities for treating the same. It was 
felt by the General Conference, which authorized the publication 
of this book, that it would have been a misfortune to allow this 
opportunity to pass without summing up the progress of the 
century. With devout hearts we may well exclaim, " What hath 
God wrought!" If with limited means and divided efforts in this 
sparsely settled country so much has been accomplished in the 
past, what may we not expect as the result of the larger endow- 
ment and greater number and more favourable opportunities of 
the future ! oit f) ublkation. 

Rev. E. H. Dewart, D.D., Rev. John Lathern, D.D., 

Rev. \villiam Briggs, D.D., Rev. S. F. Huestis, 

Rev. A. H. Reynar, D.D., Rev. E. I. Badgley, D.D., 

Rev. J. C. Antliff, D.D., Rev. Hugh Johnston, D.D., 

Rev. George Werber. 

Rev. W. H. Withrow, D.D., 

Serelai v. 




The Providential Rise of the Wesleyan Revival. 

Bee. George Douglas, D.D., LL.D. '.) 

Historical Sketch of Methodism in the Eastern 

Provinces Bee. John Lathe m, D.D. 27 

Historical Sketch of the Wesleyan Methodist Church 
in Upper and Lower Canada. 

Rev. Hugh Johnston, M.A., D.D. 55 

Historical Sketch of the Methodist New Connexion 

Church in Canada . . . .Rev. William Williams, D.D. 95 

The Methodist Church of Canada, 1873-1883. 

Rev. E. H. Den-art, D.D. 127 

Historical Sketch of the Methodist Episcopal Church 

in Canada Rev. 8. G. Stone, D.D. 141) 

Historical Sketch of the Primitive Methodist Church 

in Canada B< e. J. Cooper Antliff, D.D. 181 

The Bible Christian Church Bee.GeoKfe Wchher 205 

The Methodist Chcrch Bee. Alherl Carman, D.D. 22!) 

The Methodist Chcrch in Relation to Missions. 

Bee. Ah'.ro iidir Sntlarht nil, l).l>. 2.>."> 

Methodist Literatim; k and Methodist Sunday-schools. 

Be. W. II. Wiihrme, />./>., F.ll.S.C 27- 

Methodist Education in Canada. 

Rue. Nathanirl Ihinnmh, 8.T.D. 2«.»7 

Statistical Recokd of the Prooless of Methodism in 
Canada dcrino the First One Hundred Years of 
Its History Bee. Geome II, Cornish, LL. I>. 331 




By the Rev. George Douglas, D.D., T/Ti.D., 

Principal of the Wesley an Theological College, ^ontrcal. 

THE history of the Church in its evolution through 
the ages is a perpetual attestation to the immensity 
of the divine resources, not only in ordaining and rendering 
all events subservient to its interests, but in bringing for- 
ward at the appointed time those types of mental and moral 
manhood, as instrumental agencies, which its ever-advancing 
necessities may require. How does history authenticate 
the fact that God not only appoints men gifted with plenary 
inspiration, but men uninspired, to accomplish His purpose 
in the regeneration of the world f When in the post- 
apostolic period it became necessary to formulate and vindi- 
cate the fundamental truths of Christianitv against the 
Gnostic and Arian heresies, Athanasius and Cyril appear, 
whose searching and subtle intellects confronted the won- 
drous problems of Deity, and gave those definitions of the 
person of Christ and the Trinity which have commanded 
the homage of the universal Church. 

Early in the history of Christian life and worship, the 

demand arose for the enthusiasm of song. Gifted with 

devout and poetic skill, John of Damascus, and in later 

times Bernard, penned their hymns, while Gregory, and 


10 Centennial »f Canadian Methodism. 

Ambrose of Milan, in their chants and cantatas voiced these 
noble hymns in all the melodies of music. 

Long before a sacred literature was born, we find that 
genius consecrated its powers, and became an educating 
force by which the multitudes were familiarized with 
religious thought. In the cartoons and statuary of Raphael 
and Angelo, incarnated in fresco and stone, there was an 
ever-open Gospel in which were recorded, in tinted and 
glowing colors, the leading events of Christianity. It was 
in the mediaeval times, when the inner life of the Church 
had gone down to zero, that the schools of the Mystics were 
originated, and the writings of Thomas a Kempis, Molinos, 
and Fenelon, attest how deep was the spiritual life which 
God had commissioned them to awaken. At length papacy, 
insolent as in the times of Uildebrand, avenging in its 
cruelty and abject in its corruption, became a burden 
intolerable to the nations, when Luther, Zwingli, and 
Melanchthon arose, renounced the yoke of Rome, and led 
the way in the Reformation of the fifteenth century. 
With the advent of the Wyclif Bible in England, Wyclif, 
compassionating those wasted and trodden down by feudal 
despotism, sent forth one hundred men, loval to the truth, 
to preach a Gospel of uplifting to the poor. Branded by 
the stigma of Lollards, and discounted by the grandees 
of the times, they yet lived on and blossomed into the 
Puritanism of another age. Never, in the history of the 
Church, did a great leader appear more essential than in 
the period immediately preceding the great Methodist 

The early part of the eighteenth century is one of the 
darkest pages in the religious history of England. The 
Restoration witnessed a complete reaction from the stri.i- 

Rise of the Wesley an Revival. 11 

gencies which marked society under the puritanic rule 
of Cromwell. It gave rise to a libertine literature, which 
found its expression in the nameless degradation of its 
dramatists, and the social corruption which abounded in the 
higher life of the nation. The infidelity of Lord Herbert 
had alienated the aristocracy from the Church, while that 
of Tyndal and Wolston had taken hold of the popular mind, 
so that the press abounded with the most g ; and ribald 
attacks on all that was noble and virtuous in man. The 
clergy of the Establishment were intolerant in the extreme, 
and with but few exceptions made no pretensions to piety, 
and in some instances not even to morality itself. The Non- 
conformist successors of Doddridge had inclined toward the 
principles of Socinianism, while the poorer classes were 
steeped in ignorance, and had descended to a depravity 
well-nigh beyond conception. The impartial historian 
frankly admits that all language fails to adequately picture 
the deterioration which rested alike on all classes, from 
titled nobles to barbarous toilers in the grim and dismal 
mines of the North. 

In the obscure rectory of Epworth, amid the marshy fens of 
Lincolnshire, a child was born to one of the noblest mothers 
that Cod ever gave to counsel and inspire a son ; a son who, 
in the allotment of heaven, was to become the modern 
apostle to revive the Church and regenerate society; a son 
whose line was destined to go out into all the earth, and his 
words unto the ends of the world. The name of John 
Wesley will gather strength with the years ; and already 
lie stands as one of the most prominent and remarkable 
agents whom Providence has ever brought forward for the 
accomplishment of a great work. Feeble in its beginnings, 
the a^es only will tell the grandeur of its consummation. 

1 2 Centennial of* Canadian Methodism. 

In briefly sketching the elements which conspire to render 
Wesley foremost of a'l revivalists whom the Church has 
ever witnessed, we propose to notice the System of Truth 
which he accepted, the Character of his Spiritual Life, the 
Style of his Preaching, and his Power of Organization as 
seen in the means which he employed to give permanence 
to his work. 

As a first and fundamental point, we notice that system 
of theological truth which Wesley formulated and has given 
as a heritage to the Church. It has seldom fallen to the lot 
of man to be endowed with a mind so full, so many-sided, as 
that with which he was intrusted. While it would be untrue 
to claim for him the inductive power of Bacon ; or to assert 
that he could walk the inner sanctuary of the soul with the 
stately tread of Shakspeare, who flashed the torch-light of 
his genius into the remotest corners of the heart ; or that 
he could wield the philosophic argument of Butler ; yet the 
more profoundly we study his natural endowments the more 
we are impressed with their remarkable character. He was 
gifted with a breadth of understanding and a logical acumen 
which enabled him to grasp any subject which came within 
the limits of human thought. In him there was reverence 
for authority, and yet a mental daring which led him into 
new fields of investigation ; an impartiality which refused 
to be biased, but calmly weighed the claims of rival sytems. 
He had a spiritual insight which truly belongs to higher 
souls, by which they discern the affinities and relations of 
things spiritual. In addition to these natural endowments, 
he enjoyed that wide scholarship and rare culture which the 
then first university in the world could supply. Thus 
furnished, he early in his career laid the foundations of that 

Rise of the Wesley an Revival. 13 

theological system which, it is not too much to say, is at 
once the most comprehensive, scriptural, and best adapted 
for evangelistic work which the schools have ever given to 
the Church ; a system which is ever-widening in its influ- 
ence, modifying other types of religious thought, and which 
gives promise of becoming the theology of the Church of the 
future. Thus gifted by nature and cultured by art, he 
seems to have contemplated every system ' 'ch had been 
propounded to the Church. Eliminating what was false, he 
retained what was scriptural, and combined them with 
matchless skill. How manifestly does this appear ! He 
accepted the Augustinian doctrine of sin, but rejected its 
theory of decrees. He accepted the Pelagian doctrine of 
the will, but repudiated that teaching which denied the 
depravity of man and the necessity of spiritual aid. He 
accepted the spectacular theory of Abelard, and the substi- 
tutional theory of Anselm, relative to the work of Christ, 
but utterly rejected the rationalism of the one, and the com. 
mercial theory of the atonement of the other. He accepted 
the perfectionist theory and deep spirituality taught by 
Pascal and the Port Royal sts, but rejected their quietist 
teachings, which destroy all the benevolent .activities of 
Christian life. He accepted the doctrine of universal 
redemption as taught by the early Arminians, but was care- 
ful to denounce the semi-Pelagian laxity winch marked the 
teachings of the later schools of Remonstrants. He joined 
with the several Socinian schools in exalting the benevo- 
lence and mercy of God, but never faltered in his declaration 
of the perpetuity of punishment. Magnifying the efficiency 
of divine grace with the most earnest of Calvinists, he at the 
same time asserted that salvation was dependent on the 
volitions of a will that was radically free. 

14 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

It is impossible to overestimate the influence of the 
theology of Wesley. If we accept the terms employed in 
modern theological science, its anthropology confronted and 
modified to an extent that has been underestimated, the 
sensuous philosophy of Locke, which, running its downward 
course, degenerated into the materialism of France, and all 
the degradation of the positive philosophy of Comte. By 
asserting the liberty of the moral agent, it vindicated the 
spiritual nature and essential royalty of man. Its soteriology 
modified and softened that ultra-Calvinism which overlooked 
the necessity of personal holiness by a misconception of the 
nature of Christ's atoning work and the office and work of 
the Spirit ; while its eschatology rejects the wild and 
dreamy vagaries of millenarianism, and that monstrous 
assumption that untainted innocency and desperado villainy 
will be congregated forever in that state where retribution 
is unkhown. How grandly comprehensive, how profoundly 
scriptural, and how intensely practical is this system of 
theology ! It is pre-eminently the theology of the evangelist 
who seeks to revive and extend spiritual religion. 

It contemp'ates man as utterly lost, and with the knife 
of the moral anatomist reveals the deep and festering 
depravity of the human heart. Generous as God's own 
sunlight, it looks every man in the face and says, " Christ 
died for you." Vindicating the reality of supernatural 
communication to the spirit of man, it publishes the glad 
evangel that the invited Spirit will throne himself as a wit- 
ness of sonship and a comforter divine in every willing 
heart. It holds out the possibilities of a victory over the 
apostate nature by asserting a sanctification which is 
entire, and a perfection in love which is not ultimate and 
final, but progressive in its development forever. Such 

Rise of the Wesley an Revival. 

was the system of religious truth with which Wesley started 
on his mighty career of evangelistic labour. The world has 
never seen a formula which lias more practically unfolded 
the Spirit of the Gospel, and given it an adaptation to the 
average intelligence of man. Though scholastic in its 
origin, yet as he and his coadjutors rang it out over the 
land, it became a power imperial to sway human hearts and 
sweep them into the kingdom of God. And this theology, 
because of its intense loyalty to the Scriptui is gathering 
strength with the years. It is moulding the method of all 
Churches, and is the right arm of power to every man who 
aspires to lift up and save the race. Its character is 
written on every page of the history of the mightiest 
revival which the Church has ever known. 

From the theology of Wesley we come to a consideration 
of its influence over his own mind as seen in his experimen- 
tal life. We have already referred to the rare mental 
endowments with which God had intrusted him. Not 
inferior were those qualities which conspired to build up 
that Christian manhood which made him pre eminent as a 
minister of God. 

Foremost among those qualities was a will-power which 
would have made him eminent in any sphere. Meteors 
flash and darken again, but planets burn steadily in their 
orbits. Wesley swung the round of his earthly orbit with 
unfaltering purpose and ever-increasing brilliance. There 
is an heroic grandeur in that constancy which carried him 
directly forward in the accomplishment of his great life- 
work. With this power of will there was a native integrity 
and sympathy with the spiritual which is constantly evident 
throughout his career. Several agencies conspired to fit 
him for his great work. The first was a sympathy with 

16 Centennial of. Canadian Methodism. 

mediaeval asceticism. The lives of Lopez, Lawrence, and 
Francois Xavier had early arrested his attention. Accord- 
ingly, we find that the history of the Oxford Methodists 
very clearly brings out the ascetic mould in which the piety 
of Wesley was cast. The whole of their life assumed the 
form of monastic order. Their time was divided by seasons 
of fasting and solitude. Restrictions were placed upon their 
social intercourse, habits of thought, and daily action. 
This period was a sort of moral gymnasium in which his 
spirit was trained and toned, in which his conscience was 
educated, and in which his duty became the pole-star of his 
life. Like another Ignatius Loyola, though in the spirit of 
a servant rather than of a son, he was ready to cross seas 
and continents at what he believed to be the call of duty. 
Wesley never forgot the moral discipline and advantage of 
this period of his life. Indeed, he regretfully declares that 
an observance of these rules would have been helpful 
throughout his entire career. It may be safely doubted 
whether any man ever accomplished much for God who was 
not subjected to a like discipline. The lives of Luther, 
Spener and Knox give marked indications of that self- 
abnegation which gave fibre and power to their manhood, 
and, under God, made them mighty for the accomplishment 
of His purposes. 

But while the ascetic principles which shaped his early 
religious life induced a habit of introspection and developed 
a certain thoroughness and depth in his inner life, it must 
not be overlooked that Wesley stands forever a debtor to 
that Moravian type of piety which so largely influenced the 
entire of his subsequent career. 

The distinguishing attributes of Moravian piety were its 

Rise of the We sky an Revival. 17 

vivid realization of spiritual truth, its demand for an inner 
consciousness of the divine favour wrought out by the Spirit 
of God, its joyous aggressiveness, its unquestion ng faith, 
and its loyalty to the Divine Word. There are, doubtless, 
some features of Moravian teaching, as propounded by Zin- 
zendorf, that must be questioned ; but the tone of piety is 
sweet and beautiful in the extreme. Its impelling power 
is seen in the fact that a comparatively f e< 1 ' : Church has 
lift d its banner in mission stations over all tne earth to an 
extent unequalled by any Church of similar strength. No 
sooner had Wesley come under the exp> rimental teachings 
of Moravians like Bolder than he beheld the ways of God 
more perfectly, and from the night when he felt his heart 
strangely warmed while reading on the atonement in the 
Epistle to the Romans, a new power possessed him. Fired 
l>y the enthusiasm of divine love, he henceforth more fully 
irave his entire beini; to evangelistic labours. But the full 
power of Wesley's spiritual life stands inseparably connected 
with his acceptance of the doctrine of Christian Perfection. 
In his " Plain Account" of this doctrine we find that from 
the very beginning of his spiritual life his mind had been 
divinely drawn in this direction. Thomas a Kempis' 
" Imitation of Christ " and Jeremy Taylors " Holy Living ; 
first kindled aspirations for this grace. 

Evidence of his early soul-yearnings is found in the fact 
that, when at Savannah, he penned the lines : — 

" Is there a thing beneath the sun, 

That strives with Thee my heart to share? 
Ah, tear it thence, and rei^n alone, 
The Lord of every motion there." 

And on his return voyage he wrote : — 

18 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

" O grant that nothing in my soul 

May dwell, but Thy pure love alone ! 
O may Thy love possess me whole, 

My joy, my treasure, and my crown : 
Strange flames far from my heart remove ; 
My every act, word, thought be love ! " 

If there be one master-passion wliich above all other 
absorbed the soul of Wesley, it was his intense admit atioi 
of the exquisite beauty of holiness which permeates anc 
robes the character with the radiance of heaven. His ever 
abiding desire was, that it should crown his own life anc 
constitute the beatitude of others. As the mariner's need 1 * 
points to the pole, so his heart turned to those who gloriiiec 
this truth. 

The estimate which he set upon this experience of entin 
sanctification is shown in his repeated declarations that i 
constitutes the great power of the Church, and that wher 
ever it was preached clear]y and definitely, as a presen 
experience, the work of God revived. Wherever Christian! 
rose to its attainment, they became invested with a nev 
power, which made them potential agents in the work o 
God ; and he does not hesitate to declare, that if this trutl 
should become obsolete in the Methodist Church, its glory 
as a revival Church, would forever pass away. Holines: 
unto the Lord was, he declared, the great deposituu 
intrusted to Methodism, distinguishing it from every othe 
section of the Church of Christ. 

In the three stages which mark the spiritual life o 
Wesley there is a remarkable preparation for his great worl 
as the revivalist of the eighteenth century. The asceti< 
period gave him the mastery of the human heart, anc 
armed him with power to search the conscience. Th< 
attainment of the Moravian type of piety led him out in th< 

Rise of the Wesley an Revival. 19 

line of immediate conversion and spiritual attestation to 
the heart, while the acceptance of Christian perfection 
enabled him, to guide the Church into that consecration 
which would make its members collaborators in the work of 
S ueading scriptural holiness throughout the land. 

But from his inner life we may pass on to notice that 
style of preaching which Wesley employed ir> accomplishing 

his great work. The history of the pulpit ii a sense the 

history of the Church, reflecting, as it does, the spirit of the 
age. Thus, in the apostolic times we have the age of direct 
statement, as found in Justin Martyr ; the age of allegory, 
which found its exponent in Origen ; the age of superstition, 
as expressed in the Montanists ; the age of ecclesiasticism, 
in Gregory the Great ; the age of doctrine, in the times of 
the Reformation ; the age of polemics, in the sixteenth 
century ; and the age of exposition, which found its 
expression in the great productions of Owen and Howe. 
It was reserved for Wesley to inaugurate a new method of 
preaching, which, divested of scholastic forms, should at 
once command the homage of intellect and the heart of 
untutored simplicity. 

The eighteenth century has given us only two names 
illustrious for pulpit eloquence : Wesley and Whitelield. 
If one was the Demosthenes of the age, the other was the 
Seneca. The one was bold, impassioned, full of declamatory 
] ower and emotional force; the other was calm, cultured, 
searching, clear, and powerful in appeal. . While the 
grandeur of Whitefield's pulpit eloquence swayed for the 
time, the convincing and heart-searching appeals of Wesley 
left a more permanent impression on the age. Stars were. 
they both of the first magnitude ; binary stars, that revolve 

20 Centennial &f Canadian Methodism. 

around each other and shed the refulgence of their light oi 
the darkness of their times ; but while the lustre of the on 
is dimming with the years, that of the other is ever increas 
ing in the growing magnitude and permanence of that worl 
which he began. It is conceded by the historians o 
Wesley, that, while his printed sermons indicate tb 
theology of his preaching, they furnish but an imperfec 
conception of that popular power which he wielded. Si 
Walter Scott heard him in his early life, and bears testimon; 
to his great versatility, emplo\ ing argument and anecdote, th 
simplicity of conversational address, and yet an all-pervadini 
and incisive earnestness which was potent to arrest all wh 
heard it. The preaching of Wesley had always for it 
object the accomplishment of definite results. Recognizin: 
man as exposed to an eternal penalty on account of sin, am 
yet unconscious of his peril, he proclaimed the law in all it 
conscience-searching significance, and uncovered that dar] 
immortality to which unsaved men were hastening, with , 
vividness and power that awoke the guilty sinner, am 
prompted him to flee from the wrath to come. 

It is a complaint throughout the Churches that the spiri 
of deep conviction and thorough repentance is seldoti 
witnessed as in the past. May this not arise from the wan 
of that tremendous and searching appeal in the moderi 
pulpit which marked the ministry of Wesley and his coad 
jutors ? To the truly awakened man he brought the fulnes 
of the Gospel, offered an immediate pardon, and insisted 
upon the attainment of a witnessing Spirit, as authenticat 
ing the reality of the gift conferred. W T ith sharpnes 
of definition he kept ever reiterating the privilege of son 
ship, and never ceased to urge on those who had receive* 
the marks of sonship the necessity of perfecting holiness ii 
the fear of the Lord. 

Rise </ the We sley an Revival. 21 

The preaching of Wesley presents a marked contrast to 
that class who decry all dogmatic teaching, and would emas- 
culate the Gospel of those great distinctive truths which 
constitute the bones and sinews and fibres of our Chris- 
tianity. What gave strength to his teaching was the per- 
petual presentation of doctrine in its practical relation to 
the experimental life of man. It was thus an educating 
force, and, being surcharged with that d' ' le influence 
which flowed out from his personal consecration and union 
with God, it became mightily transforming, making the 
moral wilderness to rejoice and blossom as a rose. 

Nothing more fully reveals the grand possibilities which 
inhere in man than the magnitude of those forces which 
belong to one who is called, commissioned, and anointed to 
proclaim the Gospel. We admire the power and skill of 
the artist who evokes from the instrument of music its many 
voices, weaving them into harmonies and planting them in 
the soul so that they live in the memory along the years ; 
but what is this to the achievement of the preacher who 
wakes the silent souls of thousands into melodies divine 
and sends them singing through the great forever, waking 
in turn music in other hearts as they go to the mountains 
of myrrh and frankincense, where the day breaks unci the 
shadows ilee away ! Such was the power of Wesley. From 
his lips came words that moved the spirits of multitudes 
toward God, and from that centre there has gone out a 
power which is ever accumulating with the march of time, 
working out the regeneration of mighty militant hosts on 
earth and lifting uncounted millions to the skies. 


With a theology such as we have described, wielded by 
an agent so consecrated, and in a manner so adapted to pro- 

22 Centennial df Canadian Lletliodism. 

duce immediate results, we cannot wonder that over all the 
land the flame of revival was kindled to an extent such as 
the Church had never witnessed. The success which 
crowned the ministry of Wesley brought into play what 
must be regarded as one of the crowning attributes of his 
character — his power of organization. Nothing so distin- 
guishes the essential greatness of a man, and gives to him 
such historic pre-eminence, as the power to organize. The 
names that stand peerless in government, in war, and in 
the annals of the Church, were, perhaps, more distinguished 
in this particular than in any other. This talent for govern- 
ment Wesley possessed in an extraordinary degree. He 
had, says Macaulay, the genius of a Richelieu in directing 
and controlling men. The first outcome of this power was 
seen in his ability to read the character of men, and select 
his agents to co-operate with him in his work. It was no 
ordinary soul that could choose his agents from every class, 
fling over them the spell of his inspiration, and hold them 
in line with a precision that well-nigh approached the 
rigidity of military discipline. Yet this was the sublime 
spectacle which was witnessed in the last century. Men 
throughout the isles and over the seas responded to his 
call, and loyally toiled at his bidding for the evangelization 
of the world. 

The genius of Wesley for organization was further seen 
in the adjustment to the nature of man of that economy 
which he has given to the Church. The Protestant Church 
had hitherto resolved itself into two historic forms, the 
elaborate ritualism of Episcopacy, and the rigid baldness of 
Presbyterianism ; in the one, the worship assumed a sensu- 
ous form, appealing to the senses ; in the other, there was a 
certain cold and unattractive formalism. The quick intelli- 

Rise of the Wesley an Revival. 23 

gence of Wesley at once grasped the situation ; he recog- 
nized the power of social influence, and, as a first step, estab- 
lished those class-meetings and modern agapce, or love- 
feasts, which have developed the spirit of testimony, and 
generated a warmth of Christian affection that largely con- 
stitutes the distinguishing bond of Methodism. 

With this provision for Christian fellowship he organized 
a system of accurate supervision, by the apj; ' tment of an 
order of sub-pastors, or leaders, whose mission it should be 
to watch over the individuals intrusted to their care to an 
extent beyond the power of the ordained pastorate. The 
wisdom of this appointment all must acknowledge who are 
familiar with the tendencies of human nature to recede 
from that position into which they have been brought in 
times of religious revival, and to renounce their allegiance 
to God. An eminent prelate has well said, that nothing in 
Methodism more evinces the far-seeing sagacity of Wesley 
than his expedient to supply to his followers at once the 
opportunities for fellowship with the minutest oversight of 
individual interests. 

It may well be doubted whether the social economy of 
Methodism could have been sustained without those won- 
drous spiritual songs which form the liturgy of the 
Methodist Church. The hymns of the Wesleys are 
undeniably the finest exponents of every phase of inner life 
that uninspired genius has ever given to enrich the psalmody 
of the Church. They strike every note in the possible of 
human experience, from despairing penitence up to ecstatic 
assurance, from tremulous doubt to an exultant faith that 
smiles serenely amid the wreck of earthly hopes, and sings 
its jubilate in anticipation of the coming inheritance. The 
hymns of the Wesleys have shaped the experimental life of 

24* Centennial ctf Canadian Methodism. 

the Church, they have given it an impress of joy, and for 
the last century have made it the singing Church of 
Christendom, to witness before the world that Christianity 
is not to walk the ages robed in mourning, but with the 
light of heaven sparkling in her eye. Clad in garments of 
praise, with thanksgiving and the voice of melody, she is to 
testify that " happy is that people that is in such a case ; 
yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord." 

No statement of Wesley's power to organize would be 
complete without marking the comprehensiveness of his 
aims, which gave him an elevation that seemed to overlook 
the ages, and anticipate the demands of an advancing civili- 
zation. Long before Methodism had built a school or 
college, Wesley had provided a series of elementary books 
to aid his untutored converts in the attainment of an 
adequate education. Recognizing the forces that slumber 
in cfteap literature, he let loose these forces in tracts, 
pamphlets and magazines, ere yet man had dreamed of 
organizing tract societies. He thundered with strong invec- 
tive against the liquor traffic a hundred years prior to the 
birth of prohibition, and sought to educate his followers to 
just conceptions of the political issues of their times. 
Whatever would give strength, endurance, and beauty to 
the Church ; whatever would fit its members in the highest 
and noblest sense to make the best of both worlds, this 
great master-builder pressed into service and consecrated to 
God. Every type of Methodism over all the earth is at the 
present instinct with the organizing genius of Wesley. 
This has given to it permanence and power, and must pro- 
ject its influence along the line of its entire history. 

Manifold are the lessons which the history of John 
Wesley as a revivalist suggests. Let none suppose that the 

Rise of the Weslcyan Revival. 25 

highest culture unfits for the revival work of the Church. 
The finest scholarship may be associated with the most 
enthusiastic zeal for the salvation of men. 

Let none suppose that ministerial power must decline 
when the freshness and buoyancy of early manhood depart. 
With advancing years the influence and usefulness of 
Wesley's ministry increased, and the splendour of its even- 
tide far surpassed the glory of its dawn. 

Whoever aspires to fill the horizon of mis life with 
highest benediction to his race, and gather glory to himself 
that shall be enduring as the Eternal, let him emulate the 
spirit of Wesley and the grandeur of his consecration. 

Sun of the morning, that openest the gates of the day, 
and comes blushing o'er the land and the sea, whymarchest 
thou to thy throne in the heavens, tilling the firmament 
with splendour ? Why, but to symbolize the coming glory 
of the spiritually wise. " They that be wise shall shine as 
the firmament." 

Star of the midnight hour, that has shone on patriarch 
and prophet, waking the wonder and admiration of ages and 
generations, why thy ceaseless burning 1 Why, but to 
show the abiding brilliance of the soul-winner. " They 
that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for 
ever and ever. ; ' 


By the Rev. John Lathern, D.D. 

" A hundred years ago ! What then? 
There ruse, the world to bless, 
A little band of faithful men, 
A cloud of witnesses." 

— James Montgomery. 

IN tracing a river to its source a number of springs are 
often found, and it is not always easy to distinguish 
between head-waters and tributaries. And so in regard to 
the rise of Methodism in the Eastern Conferences of Nova 
Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and 
Newfoundland, we meet with more than one date of con- 
secrated interest. A year before the introduction of Metho- 
dism into the United States, in 1775, Laurence Coughlin 
began his evangelical labours in Newfoundland. But the 
llev. William Black was the founder of organized and per- 
petuated Wesleyan societies, and is justly regarded as the 
Apostle of Methodism in the Eastern Provinces. He was 
converted to God at a prayer-meeting held near Amherst 
in 1779. Several Yorkshire families had come out recently 
from England to occupy lands vacated by exiled Acadians. 
Scenes of Wesleyan revival were familiar to them. William 
Black was then nineteen years of age, at the formative 

28 Centennial g)f Canadian Methodism. 

period of life, and full of bright, intellectual promise. 
Through genuine spiritual change he was led along uncon- 
sciously to a new history. As in the case of St. Paul, 
Luther, John Wesley, and other leaders of Christian thought 
and action, whose hearts have been " strangely warmed," 
that experimental fact of conversion held in it the germ of 
all that followed ; flaming evangelism and soul-saving 
results, throwing over an otherwise inexplicable movement 
the luminous light of heavenly law. 

The gifts of William Black were at once exercised in 
testimony and prayer. He saturated his mind with Wes- 
ley's evangelical sermons, while glorious hymns moulded his 
theology and enriched his vocabulary for the proclamation 
of a free and full salvation ; 

" To praise the Lamb who died for all, 
The general Saviour of mankind." 

The country was then new, having a population of about 
twelve thousand, and there must have been great spiritual 
destitution. Labourers were few. On the 10th of Novem- 
ber, 1781, manifestly called to special work, the youthful 
evangelist started on his first excursion, The whole land 
was before him. He crossed the Tantramar marshes to 
forest settlements, and the log dwellings of lonely woods- 
men, dotting the region between Amherst and the Petite >- 
diac river. 

But in Pauline spirit and purpose, and with a genius 
for evangelism, William Black began to look at once to 
centres of population, whence lines of influence might 
radiate to extremities of the land. Windsor became an 
objective point of his mission. Failing to reach it by way 
of the Avon, rounding the magnificent Blomidon, he landed 

The Eastern Provinces. 29 

at Cornwallis. On the 26th of May, he preached his first 
missionary sermon in Nova Scotia. We may well empha- 
size the date. On that memorable Sabbath, from ocean to 
ocean, through all the territory of what is now the Dominion 
of Canada, there was not another Methodist r readier. As 
might be expected, themes of supreme and infinite glory 
were announced on the occasion. His first text — the first 
also of Francis Asbury on this continent — was the affirma- 
tion of St. Paul : " For I determined not to know anything 
among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Passing 
through the land of Evangeline, Windsor was reached on 
the 5th of June, and, after a brief visit to the capital, lie 
was back again to that town on the 16th. Congregations 
overflowed, an open-air service was held, souls were saved, 
a meeting for spiritual fellowship was organized, and 
Sabbath services were closed and crowned by a love-feast. 
The work proved to be of a genuine and permanent charac- 
ter, developed on thoroughly Wesleyan lines. Here, then, 
we stand beneath the morning sky, full of bright promise ; 
an organized Methodism of the Maritime Provinces. 


The reflection of revival, like a pillar of light suddenly 
kindled in a dark place, caught the eye of distant watchers. 
In response to urgent appeal, Mr. Black became at once an 
itinerant preacher, and soon an immense circuit was formed. 
It led on the eastern side through an unbroken forest to Hali-" 
fax, and extended westward down a noble valley, from the 
Avon to Annapolis. Consequent upon the closing of the 
revolutionary war, the year 17S.3 became one of memor- 
able and historic interest in the country, for that summer 
the Loyalists landed in the Eastern Provinces. They came 

30 Centennial' of Canadian Methodism. 

wth a purpose to hew out homes from the forests primeval 
of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ; so that again, as with 
the Pilgrim Fathers, 

" The sounding aisles of the dim woods rang 
To the anthem of the free." 

By a coincidence which one cannot but regard as provi- 
dential, that great evangelistic movement initiated by M r. 
Black took definite shape just in time to become a mighty 
moulding influence for a new population, estimated at not 
less than twenty thousand, and to form a potent factor in 
the development of a fine type of national and religious life 
in the Provinces. 

On the 7th and 8th of May, 1783, sixteen sail of ships, 
with emigrants from New York, of whom a few were old 
John Street Methodists, anchored at Port Roseway, on the 
western part of Nova Scotia. Town lots were drawn, 
soldiers' tents furnished by Government, and there was a 
dream of making Shelburne a seat of future magnificence, 
in commerce and structures. The itinerant was soon on 
the ground, and, standing at a table in front of one of the 
tents, surrounded by the stumps of newly felled forest trees, 
he proclaimed the message of a great salvation. But the 
Word did not run and burn as at Liverpool on the same 
shore. There was amongst the Loyalists an element of 
ecclesiastical exclusiveness, and perhaps a recklessness 
generated by revolutionary experiences. From the out- 
skirts of the crowd, a stone was hurled with force at the 
undaunted preacher, and he was threatened with vengeance. 
But he had the firm support of a little band of brethren, 
soon to be strengthened by an important accession. An- 
other fleet of s ips reached Shelburne the same fall, and 

The Eastern Provinces. 31 

Mr. John Mann arrived with the refugees. He had been 
a local preacher in New York, and with his brother, Mr. 
James Mann, was soon after summoned to the ranks of an 
itinerant ministry. 

Coasting a rocky shore, where " forests murmur and 
the surges roar," Mr. Black visited La Have, Liverpool 
and Shelburne. The itinerancy of that second year, 1783, 
comprised also repeated journeys through the Annapolis 
valley, visits to the Cumberland congregations, and an 
excursion across the gulf to Prince Edward Island, then 
known as St. John's. Leaving Cumberland early in the 
spring of 1784, the intrepid pioneer sailed from Halifax, on 
his second missionary tour, to settlements on the Atlantic 
coast. A visit was made to Birchtown, adjacent to Shel- 
burne ; a community of colored people, mostly liberated 
slaves and refugees, arrivals with the Loyalists. Here 
fourteen classes were formed. The work there arrested the 
attention of the venerable Wesley, as with still undimmed 
eye he scanned the various parts of his world-wide parish, 
and he regarded it " as a wonderful instance of the power 
of God." These families were mostly shipped away by the 
British Government to Sierra Leone, on the western coast 
of Africa, and there they furnished the nucleus of the first 
Methodist mission to the Dark Continent. 

Thus from the surf-beat of the Atlantic to the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence, a vast circuit was formed within the 
space of a little more than two years. Very great must 
have been the exposure and fatigue of such travel in a new 
country. Reminiscences of old people afford an occasional 
glimpse of the condition of new settlements in this part of 
America. Roads through the interior were rough and 
almost impassable. Shores were skirted by dense woods 

32 Centennial *of Canadian Methodism. 

down to the water's edge. A single log was not always at 
hand to bridge the swollen and rapid stream. Often thf-re 
was a perplexity as to which of the obscure paths might 
lead safely to destination. And welcome indeed to the 
preacher, amid the silence and seclusion of the deep and 
dense forest, were the shelter and hospitality of a log cabin, 
such as he might reach after long and weary hours of 
solitary travel. But the aspirations of the itinerant were 
scarcely to be bounded by the limits of the Eastern 
Provinces ; and, prizing such indomitable energy, but 
knowing how to give prudent counsel, W» sley reminded 
him that Nova Scotia (then understood to include New 
Brunswick) and Newfoundland were sufficient for one 
circuit, and it was not expedient to take in any part of the 
United States. 

John Wesley's letters to William Black (originals of 
which were for some time in possession of the writer) began 
early in 1783, and were continued to the close of life. 
They give evidence of a deep solicitude, habitual to the 
mind of England's great Apostle, for the promotion of a 
genuine wbrk of God in the Provinces. At first, it was 
thought that preachers might be sent out from England; 
but Wesley's plan was to send only volunteers to America, 
and such did not oflvr. One or two, it was thought, might 
be spared from the United States. Acting upon the hint, 
his youthful correspondent started at once for Baltimore. 

The now historic " Christmas Conference " of 1784 was 
to meet there under the presidency of Rev. Dr. Coke, who, 
in association with Francis Asbury, had been designated by 
Wesley for episcopal office and administration, thus paving 
the way for the perfected organization of the Methodist 
Church in America. Mr. Black's eloquent appeal to the 

The Eastern Provinces. 

Conference evoked a deep sympathy for tlie work in the 
Provinces. His enthusiasm fired also the soul of Coke with 
a missionary zeal, wh'ch soon after flashed into the bright- 
ness of holy and unexampled enterprise, and which continued 
to burn with pure and ceaseless flame until he found a grave 
in the eastern seas. Freeborn Garrettson and James O. 
Cromwell were ordained and appointed to the mission in 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, reaching Halifax early 
in 1785. 

Garrettson, charged with the oversight of the work, 
though young, was a seasoned veteran in the service, as 
modest as he was meritorious, and as heroic as he was 
heavenly-minded. He had been born to wealth, but all 
was freely given up for Christ's sake and the Gospel's. 
Halifax, where a place of worship was rented, formed a 
small part of his extensive circuit. He visited all parts of 
the Province; traversing mountains and valleys, frequently 
on foot, and knapsack at his back ; threading Indian paths 
up and down through the wilderness, where it was not 
expedient or practicable to take a horse ; wading through 
morasses of wood and water; satisfying hunger and thirst 
from knapsack and brook by the way, while at night he 
had sometimes to iest his weary limbs on a bed of forest 
leaves. But there was compensation for toil and self- 
saerilice. lie had se-,ds to his ministry. Even in com- 
munities such as Barrin^ton, where there was at first ;», ehiil 
rec -ption, Xew Light was dissolved, and he witnessed 
triumphant scenes of saving mercy. In 17 80, Nova Scotia 
found a place for the first time on the Minutes of Wesley's 

34 Centennial 9f Canadian Methodism. 


The first meeting of ministerial brethren in the Eastern 
Provinces, for conferential purposes, took place in Halifax, 
in the autumn of 1786. It was hoped that Dr. Coke — 
bishop in America — might be present. He had left 
England about the middle of October, bound for the 
Provinces, accompanied by three missionaries. But 
unknown to the brethren, under stress of ocean-tempest, 
the brig had drifted away to the West Indies, where a 
beginning was made in what proved subsequently to be a 
g'orious and successful mission. In addition to Mr. Black, 
the ministerial staff comprised Messrs. Garrettson, Cromwell, 
John Mann, James Mann, and William Grandine, formerly 
of New Jersey. In 1787, Garrettson being needed for a 
larger field, he and his associate returned to the United 
States* It is probable that John Wesley and Dr. Coke 
continued to regard the episcopal form of church govern- 
ment as the most suitable for all parts of America, and so 
James W ray was ordained in 1788 for the supervision of the 
work in the Eastern Provinces. Wesley marvelled at this 
juncture to learn from " one just come from Halifax," that 
objection was made to the superintendency of an English- 
man. But in a new country, especially in this land of the 
Loyalists, experience, as well as gifts and graces, was a 
necessary qualification for an efficient discharge of episcopal 
functions. Mr. Wray must have been conscious of this 
fact. He sought more genial work in the West Indies, 
where, two years later, he died " in resignation, peace and 
holy joy." In 1789, Nova Scotia was excluded from the 
Minutes of the English Conference, and in the same year 
Mr. Black was ordained at Philadelphia by Bishops Coke 

The Eastern Provinces. 35 

and Asbury. He was at once appointed to the superinten 
dency in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. 

The death of the immortal Wesley, March, 1791, must 
have seemed like a final severance of these Eastern missior s 
from the English Conference, and that summer found Mr. 
Black at Philadelphia in consultation with Dr. Coke as to 
the future of his charge. The policy then adopted was one 
of close and organized relation to the Methodism of the 
United States. In that year 1791 — signalized also by the 
first regular appointment to Upper Canada— the New Yotk 
Conference appointed six preachers to circuits in Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick. On the American Conference Journal, 
stations appeared as follows : William Black, Elder ; 
Halifax, William Jessop, John Mann ; Liverpool, Thomas 
Whitehead ; Shelburne, William Early ; Cumberland, 
Benjamin Fiddler; Newport, John Cooper; St. John, 
John Ragan : Annapolis, James Boyd. Two or three 
other preachers followed in the footsteps of these pioneers 
during the later years of the century. But the stay 
of these American preachers in the Provinces came 
to be transient and uncertain, a matter to be deeply 
regretted, as they possessed the requisite qualifications for a 
rough itinerancy in a new country. Early departure could 
not have been due to the nature of mission work, for they 
were inured to hardship. It may not have been congenial 
to encounter dominant loyalist feeling. But the thought 
returns that the main cause of hurried departure, remem- 
bering that there was then no missionary society, was the 
strain of inadequate financial resources. The last of the 
preachers who had laboured for longer or shorter periods in 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, returned in 1799 i<> the 
United States. It now became a policy of necessity to look 

36 Centennial of* Canadian Methodism. 

to English Methodism, then beginning to flame with 
missionary zeal, for requisite ministerial supply. 


When, in tentative excursion, William Black first crossed 
the Tantramar marshes, a vast forest territory stretching 
away to the boundaries of the United States formed the 
county of Sunbury, a part of Nova Scotia. But soon after 
the arrival of the Loyalists, it was created into a province, 
and received the name of New Urunswick. 

On the 18th of May, 1783, several thousands of refugees 
landed on the rocky and wood e J shore of what is now the 
St. John market slip. Amongst them was Stephen Hum- 
bert, one of the grantees of the new town, and the follow- 
ing year, 1784, when the Province received its constitution, 
a representative in the House of Assembly. Mr. Humbert 
was a New Jersey Methodist, and he proved splendidly 
loyal to his religious convictions. His memory should be 
kept green in St. John Methodism ; and the wreath should be 
interwoven with another of imperishable lustre, that of John 
Abraham Bishop, a native of Jersey, and a man of rare saint- 
liness of character. Methodism was at that time under a 
ban, and it was no light undertaking to plant its standard 
in the loyalist town. But sanctified tact and holy courage 
were crowned with merited success. Mr. Bishop reached 
St. John on the 28th of September, 1791, a date forever 
memorable in our eastern annals. He was welcomed by 
Mr. Humbert, and preached on the first Sunday after his 
arrival. The following Sabbath, the first in October, a class 
was organized. Methodism had come to stay. Very oppor 
tunely a building had been vacated by the Episcopalians, 
on the dedication of Trinitv, and it was secured for Wes- 

The Eastern Provinces. 37 

leyan worship. This was the precursor of grand old sanc- 
tuaries that went up in the flames of 1877, and of the later 
Queen Square and Centenary splendid structures. 

Under Mr. Bishop's ministry, remarkable for its holy 
unction and persuasive tenderness, a congregation was soon 
gathered. Excursions were made up the river to Sheffield, 
Fredericton and Nashwaak, everywhere with abiding 
revival results. A marvellous success caused a difficulty in 
regard to ministerial supply. How could settlements on the 
river be visited without loss to the infant cause in the 
town 1 Rev. William Blaok, ever on the alert, sought to 
strengthen the work under his supervision at every avail- 
able point. He hastened across the Bay of Fundy for the 
purpose of ministering to the St. John congregation, in the 
absence of its beloved missionary. But under a regime of 
rigid exclusiveness, an officious magistrate threatened him 
with arrest and imprisonment in the county gaol, should he 
attempt to preach without a special license from the Gover- 
nor. This could not be conveniently obtained, and there 
was nothing better to be done than to return to his own 
work in Nova Scotia. 

Scarcely had two years of successful labour been com- 
pleted in New Brunswick, when Mr. Bishop whs inoppor- 
tunely removed to the West Indies ; his knowledge of the 
French language constituting an exceptional qualitication 
for the Island of Grenada. He soon after caught the 


yellow fever, was laid in a missionary grave, and was 
mourned by his brethren as "one of the holiest men on 
earth." But while God buries His workmen, He carries on 
His work. 

At St. Stephen and the western parts of the Province, 
Duncan McColl was raised up and commissioned for the 

3S Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

fulfilment of a special ministry. A brave Scotchman, and 
a soldier, he had often been under fire during the revolu- 
tionary war. But converted to God through an extra- 
ordinary agency, he became an eager student of Mr. Wes- 
ley's writings, and the herald of a full salvation. He 
preached along the line, where he was located, organized 
classes, was ordained by Bishop Asbury in 1795, and ful- 
filled a faithful ministry for nearly forty years. Preachers 
from the United States, and others, who followed, kept 
up the ministerial succession. Circuits were formed on the 
River St. John, in Charlotte county, Westmoreland and 

It is worthy of note that the first Methodist church 
edifice opened in the Lower Provinces — and the first in all 
the territory of what now is Canada — was at Sackville, 
N.B., 1790. Another church was erected the same year at 
St. Stephen. The next was the Argyle Street Chapel in 
Halifax, 1792, built mainly through Rev. William Black's 
exertions ; Zoar it was called, a place of refuge for a con- 
gregation excluded from the Marchington building. 

That old Argyle sanctuary, around which hallowed 
memories still cling, as the green ivy twines around a 
mouldering ruin, has been replaced and followed by a goodly 
group of Methodist churches. As a way-mark of progress, 
it may be mentioned that the same year, 1791, saw the 
erection of the first Methodist church edifice in Upper 
Canada. Germain Street, St. John, N.B., another of our 
historic structures, dates from 1807-8. 


This gem of our eastern territory was known as the 
Island of St. John's until 1799. We have seen that in the 

The Eastern Provinces. 39 

fire of a fresh evangelism, Mr. Black crossed the Gulf of 
St. Lawrence in 1783. 

In 1792, a passage from the mainland was made by Mr. 
Grandine. A second time, in the autumn of 1794, William 
Black visited the Island, apparently with good results. At 
Charlottetown, he preached to an influential audience, com- 
prising a number of dignitaries. A class of six or seven 
members held in it the germ of a future cause. At Tryon, 
twenty persons made application for membership. The first 
regularly appointed minister to the Island (now Prince 
Edward) was James Bulpit, formerly a missionary to New- 
foundland Reaching Murray Harbour, July 20th, 1807, 
he was welcomed by about fifty people. They were mostly 
from the Channel Isles, and had been brought under Meth- 
odist influence through the ministry of Adam Clarke. At 
Charlottetown, Mr. Bulpit found fifteen members, preached 
in the Court House, and was listened to by a large congre- 
gation. He was succeeded by Messrs. Hick, Strong and 
other ministers, whose names are now a cherished memory. 
Methodism has won a commanding position in Charlotte- 
town, and through most parts of that beautiful island it is 
broadening out all its borders, whilst its converts are multi- 
plied. The last census brought out the extraordinary fact 
that this Church, as the result of sustained evangelical 
enterprise, had during the decade doubled the number of its 

This historical sketch would be incomplete were it not to 
contain some notice of the Bible Cluistians of Prince 
Edward Island. A number of families connected with that 
body having emigrated from Devonshire, England, a Bible 
Christian missionary was sent out to the Island in 1S31. 
A cause was organized. This was the only form of Methodism 

40 Centennial of Canadia?i Methodism. 

other than Wesley an ever established in the Low er Provinces. 
For several years the Bible Christian ministers and people 
put forth strenuous and successful exertions for the spread 
of Scriptural holiness through the land, until its half-dozen 
ministers and congregations became part of a united 
Canadian Methodism. 

In regard to Cape Breton, another portion of eastern 
territory, separated from Nova Scotia by a narrow strait, 
but forming part of (hat Province, it may suffice to say that 
the first stationed minister, 1829, was the Rev. Matthew 
Cranswick, a man of fine presence, noble character, and a 
successful winner of souls. 


The first mission of English Methodism was to the 
Ancient Colony, and to the work in Newfoundland must be 
assigned a prominent place in the annals of our Eastern 
Methodism. In 1775, as has been noted, Lawrence Coughlin 
was sent out from England as a missionary to Newfound- 
land. Though for several years a Methodist preacher and 
a correspondent of Wesley, he laboured there in connection 
with the Church of England Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts. But at Harbour Grace he did 
the work of an evangelist. His converts were formed into 
classes, and considered as Methodists. In 1782, Coughlin's 
health failed, and he returned to England. It now devolved 
on two local preachers, one of whom was John Strettin, to 
care for those sheep in the wilderness. An appeal was 
made to Wesley for a preacher. At the Conference of 
1785 Newfoundland was put on the Minutes, and John 
McGeary was appointed to the mission. But, in the mean- 
time, the Roman Catholics had put on their strength and 

TJie Eastern Provinces. 41 

multiplied their agencies. The results of Coughlin's labours 
had been largely scattered, as fifteen members only could 
now be found. John McGeary toiled under deep discour- 
agement for a period of five years, uncheered by ministerial 
success, often in straitened circumstances, and then began 
to think of abandoning the Island. 

At a gloomy crisis, 1791, after consultation with Coke, 
the Rev. William Black visited Newfoundland, and his visit 
was felt by the forlorn and depressed missionary to be as 
"life from the dead." At Carbonear, Harbour Grace and 
Blackhead, Pentecostal scenes were witnessed. Two 
hundred souls were converted to God around Conception 
Bay during the special services then held, and a new and 
blessed impetus was given to the cause of Methodism. 

But Mr. McGeary could not see his way to remain 
longer at the arduous and exposed outpost mission. He 
soon after returned to England, and, to the serious loss of a 
struggling cause, no missionary was sent to replace him 
during the years 1792-93. But the time was nearing when 
the star of missionary enterprise was to rise into ascendency 
in English Methodism. Another appointment was made in 
1794, and from that time, in Newfoundland, there was an 
uninterrupted ministerial supply. In 1815 the circuits of 
Newfoundland — Carbonear, Blackhead, Port de Grave, 
Island Cove, St. John's, Bonavista — were formed into 
a missionary district. There was then a staff of six 
ministers: Sampson B. Busby, William Ellis, John 
Pickavant, John Lewis, Thomas Hickson and John 
Hickson. The following year, 1816, was signalized by a 
magnificent reinforcement of Methodist agency. Six mis- 
sionaries arrived that year from England, and two of these 
were Richard Knight and George Cubitt, each one a host in 

42 Centennial *of Canadian Methodism. 

himself. Passing over the years between, we find a bead- 
roll of immortal names. Facts of which the writer became 
cognizant during a recent visit to the Island, chiefly from 
contact with missionaries from solitary stations — compelled 
at that season to visit St. John's for supplies — ^produced a 
thrill of sympathy and of exultation. It was like reading a 
chapter from the Acts of the Apostles or pages of John 
Wesley's Journal, to hear of the toils and tireless energy of 
men who proclaim the message of salvation to fishermen 
and their families along those northern shores. Such 
experiences make men heroes. 

But in that most eastern of our Conferences, from Con- 
ception Bay to the dreary coast of Labrador, the years of 
ceaseless persistence have been crowned with gladness and 
triumph. From Cape Freels to Cape John, on the northern 
part of the Island, there was no record of Methodism in the 
official returns of 1836. But at the last census, out of a 
population of about 20,000, a little over 10,000 people of 
that district were returned as Methodists. Such magnifi- 
cent results may well lead us to exclaim, What hath God 
wrought ! In Newfoundland, we have circuits — as at Car- 
bonear, with its spacious church edifice and overflowing 
congregation — which any preacher might covet for possi- 
bilities of usefulness. At St. John's, the noble and com- 
manding architecture and position of ecclesiastical and edu- 
cational structures cannot fail to challenge the admiration 
of deputations or other visitors interested in the progress of 
our work — on a first visit to that city. To God be all the 

praise ! 

" When he first the work begun, 
Small and feeble was his day ; 
Now the Word doth swiftly run, 
Now it wins its widening way." 

The Eastern Provinces. 48 


Transition in thought from the storm-swept shores of 
Newfoundland and ice-bound Labrador to the soft and 
sunny scenes of distant Bermuda requires some mental effort. 
To the north, around a perilous coast, are fierce hurricanes 
or fields of floating ice. Far to the south ar-; the summer 
isles, with their picturesque beauty and fragrant cedar 
groves, where shore and coral reef are laved by waters of 
sapphire hue and clearness. But to every extreme of 
climate and race the Gospel of Jesus has a perfect adapta- 
tion, and in all latitudes the consecrated cross has been up- 
lifted with success. 

The pioneer missionary of the Methodist Church to Ber- 
muda was the holy and heroic John Stephenson, the mission 
dating from 1799. His attempts to reach and lift up an 
outcast race encountered bitter and unscrupulous opposition. 
An inscription cut with his penknife in the cedar floor of 
St. George's prison, recounts a thrilling story of faith and 
fortitude, indicating a pure flame of consuming zeal, such 
as in the martyr's glowed : — 

" John Stephenson, Methodist missionary, was imprisoned 
in gaol for six months, and fined fifty pounds, for preaching 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to African Blacks and captive 
Negroes. St. George's, Bermuda, July, 1790." 

The mission was suspended for more than eight years. 
In May, 1808, the Rev. Joshua Marsden, summoned from 
his work in St. John, N.B., arrived at Bermuda. The 
station was a most difficult one. An interest had to be 
created, in the face of all but insuperable obstacles. But 
difficulties were surmounted. The intrepid but gentle mis- 
sionary found favour with the people. Souls were con- 

44 Centennial j>f Canadian Methodism. 

verted to God. Congregations increased. Places of worship 
were erected at St. George's, Hamilton, Somerset and else- 
where. Marsden was succeeded by Dunbar, Wilson, Ray- 
ner, Douglas, Dawson, Moore, and other faithful men ; not 
to speak of the brethren who, under a later dispensation, 
have been sent from the Provinces to take charge of the 
circuits in Bermuda, and who on their return have fasci- 
nated us with reminiscences of their ministry in those isles 
of glowing tropical light and beauty. 


As we have seen, the last of the preachers from the United 
States returned home, 1799, and it became necessary to 
look elsewhere for a ministerial supply for the Provinces. 
The magnificent idea of missionary enterprise was beginning 
to mark the era of a new glory in English Methodism. In 
finance, it was still a day of small and feeble things, but 
claims of colonial as well as foreign fields were beginning to 
receive enthusiastic recognition. Hearts were fired with 
the idea of a universal evangelization, and not without a 
thrill of admiration can we think of the bold measures 
adopted at that day of conspicuously inadequate means, and 
of the sublime faith and heroic fortitude of the pioneer of 
Methodist missions. 

In 1799, the Rev. William Black crossed the Atlantic to 
England, appealed to the Wesleyan Conference for labour- 
ers, won the confidence and love of the brethren of that 
noble body, and found a generous response to his request. 
Under the direction of Dr. Coke, four missionaries were 
appointed to the Eastern Provinces. Accompanying Mr. 
Black on his return voyage, they reached Halifax on Sun- 
day evening, the 4th of October, 1800. Two of these young 

The Eastern Provinces. 

men, Lowry and Oliphant, proved a failure in this field, 
scarcely completing their ministerial probation. But 
William Bennett, the first Englishman to identify himself 
with the work in this country, fulfilled a long and faithful 
ministry, and finished his course with joy in his eighty- 
eighth year. The story of Joshua Marsden, another of this 
band, can still be read in his glowing narrative. He 
reached his first station by sail over river and basin, and a 
long tramp through a dense Cumberland forest. His cir- 
cuit comprised Dorchester, Sackville, Tantramar, Bay de 
Verte, Amherst and Nappan; extended by excursions 
through the woods, along a pathway of blazed trees, to 
settlements on the gulf shore. 

It would not be possible within prescribed limits to trace 
the ministerial succession of the Methodist Church in the 
Maritime Provinces, to tell of William Sutcliffe, Stephen 
Bamford, James Knowlan and William Croscombe, all 
preachers of distinguished ability, following Bennett and 
Marsden during the first decade. Nor will space avail to 
recount even the names of their coadjutors and successors, 
down to this centennial year. At a memorial service, 1882, 
in commemoration of one hundred years of denominational 
history in the Eastern Provinces, the Rev. Ingham Sutclifle 
spoke of himself as one of the few living links that united 
the first with the second half of the century. To him it 
was a year of jubilee. It was fifty years since he began his 
ministry ; two years before the venerable Black had passed 
away, saying, "All is well." Dating from 1832, he stood 
midway in the succession. Nine or ten ministers, contem- 
poraries of Mr. Black, were living still, measuring out the 
full years of the century. Amongst them were Dr. Enoih 
Wood, of rare tact and administrative ability ; Dr. Matthew 

46 Centennial o£ Canadian Methodism. 

Richey, the most eloquent preacher in Canada, if not of his 
time ; Dr. A. VV. McL od, a defender of our doctrines ; 
Dr. John McMurray, a recipient of merited ecclesiastical 
honours ; Rev. George Johnson, who had not only preached 
but lived the Gospel ; Rev. Joseph Fletcher Bent, whose 
snowy locks were to him a crown of glory ; Rev. James G. 
Hennigar, genial and faithful ; Rev. Henry Daniel, vigor- 
ous and orthodox in the pulpit, and vigilant in the mainten- 
ance of godly discipline. These honoured ministers had 
mostly been associated with the venerated Bishop Black, 
and after their more than fifty years of toil, would soon 
join him in the rest of the promised land ; ready to say, 
" I pray thee, let me go over and see the good land that is 
beyond Jor dan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon." " For 
myself, as one of the number," said the eloquent veteran, 
" I see the streaks of light on the tops of the mountains, 
and tlmt light reaches over to the other shore. 

" ' For me my elder brethren stay, 
And angels beckon me away, 
And Jesus bids me come. ' " 

Since then most of those living links have been severed 
by death. But one or two remain to unite first and final 
decades of the century. Our fathers, where are they 1 " All 
died in faith." Their bodies were buried in peace, but their 
names live for evermore. 


Until 1855 the work in the Maritime Provinces and the 
colony of Newfoundland formed an important part of the 
colonial and foreign missions of the English Wesleyan Con- 
feience, and was managed by the London Missionary Com- 

The East an Piovinccs. 47 

mittee. That year was historic in the annals of our Eastern 
Methodism. The missions of this countiy were then 
organized into an affiliated Conference. This new departure 
was made under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Beecham, a man 
of solid .and luminous judgment, large experience and special 
aptitude for successful organization. Under his presidency 
the Conference held its first session in the city of Halifax, 
July 17th, 1855 ; the following preliminary notice being 
appended to published minutes of proceedings : — 

" The Wesleyan Missions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, 
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland — commenced 
towards the close of the last century by the R,ev. William 
Black — being constituted a distinct affiliated connexion, 
the minutes of the several conversations of the ministers 
from tho>e Provinces, and the Bermudas, assembled in Con- 
ference, under the presidency of the Rev. Dr. Beecham 
(the deputation from England), are now published as thu 
Minutes of the First Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist 
Connexion, or Church, of Eastern British America, under 
the sanction of the British Conference." 

The constituency of this Eastern Conference, according 
to tabular exhibit, comprised at that time 88 ministers, 
13,136 members, 9,111 Sunday-school scholars, and over 
60,000 estimated adherents. 

Sent out from the British Conference, under the direction 
of Dr. Beecham, in the course of that ecclesiastical year, thn 
writer of this sketch had then a first experience of minis- 
terial work in the Maritime Provinces, and an opportunity 
of attending several sessions of the Second Confeience, held 
in Centenary Church, St. John, N.B. A mental impression 
of the 'personnel and proceedings of that body has passed 
into a vivid and indelible memory. It was a purely minis- 

4S Centennial qf Canadian Metfwdism. 

terial conference. Lay representation had not then beco ■ e 
a living question. D< liberations were conducted with 
closed doors. The chair was occupied with dignity and 
courtesy by the eloquent Dr. Richey, and Rev. William 
Temple was at the secretary's table. It was a small con- 
ference, but comprised, in addition to those already named, 
such theologians, Biblical scholars, and preachers, as Drs. 
Evans, Knight and Pickard ; Revs. E. Botterell, Charles 
Churchill, F. Smallwood, William Wilson, William Smith, 
Charles De Wolfe, J. R. Narraway, H. Pope and T. M. 
Albrighton ; whilst amongst the candidates for ordination 
was the present Profess >r of Theology, Rev. Dr. Stewart. 

The affiliated arrangement worked to decided advantage. 
Untrammelled action led to a new sense of responsibility. 
An impetus was given to aggressive spiritual enterprise. 
Boundaries of circuits were pushed beyond their old lines. 
Home*missions were formed. New territory was occupied. 
Methodism was established among agricultural, lumbering, 
mining and fishing communities, through the interior and 
along our extended shores. The Gospel was carried to those 
who needed it most. Hence the proportionately large 
increase of ministerial agency as compared with that of com- 
municants. The affiliated dispensation lasted nineteen 
years. During that period ministers multiplied from 84 to 
204 ; while the roll of membership ran up from a little over 
13,000 to 20,000. 

Some of the distinctive features of the Affiliated Confer- 
ence may be indicated : — 

Vested Riyhts. — To all missionaries in full connexion at 
the date of Conference organization, regarded as members 
of the British Conference, there was a guarantee of super- 
numerary and other financial claims. 

The Eastern Provinces. 49 

Annual Grant. — An annual grant was stipulated from 
the Wesleyan Missionary Society, for disbursement ac ord- 
ing to the exigencies of circuit work, but subject to a con- 
dition of gradual reduction and of ultimate withdrawal. 

Wesleyan Law and Usage. — In church go vein ent, the 
Conference was amenable to the common law and usage of 
English Methodism, as embodied and expounded by Grind- 
rod. There was, consequently, a very wide scope for the 
discussion of constitutional questions, legal principles and 
valid usage, and, as might be expected, some sense of con- 
straint was experienced in subsequent transition to the 
recognized authority of "Discipline." 

Supervision. — Annual nomination to the presidential 
office had to be ratified by action of the British Conference. 
Rev. Dr. Richey was designated to that office for five years, 
1S.")6-G0, in succession. At intervals an English Wesleyan 
minister was deputed to visit the Provinces, and to preside 
at the Eastern Conference ; an exercise of prerogative 
always hailed with unmingled satisfaction, for it led to the 
visits of such distinguished ministers as Boyce and Thornton, 
Drs. Ceorge Scott and Morley Punshon. 

Right of Vito. — A veto right— rarely if ever exercised - 
was retained by the parent body, especially in the case of 
legislation supposed to affect connexional interests and 
institutions ; a salutary proviso, as it tended to conservative 
and cautious enactment. 

Unclxnig^d Relation to Foreign Missions. — A policy was 
adopted for identif\ing foreign mission effort in the affili- 
ated Conference with, or rather in subordination to, the 
operations of the Wesleyan Missionary Society. Under 
this policy the funds raised in the colonies for the promotion 
of foreign missions were to be retained as part of the stipu- 

50 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


lated grant ; or, in case of an excess, the balance only to l>e 
remitted to the General Treasurer ; an order, regarded in 
all its phases, considered to be the least satisfactory feature 
of affiliation. 

Economic Development. — Contingent and children's funds 
were instituted for the relief and equalization of circuit 
finance. A supernumerary fund was formed as part of the 
Eastern Conference organization ; which, as " the super- 
numerary ministers' and mi isters' widows' fund of the eas- 
tern section of the Methodist Church," is still administered 
on the legal basis of irs original constitution. As it came 
to be felt that the machinery of economical operations was 
incomplete without sustnitation, a home mission fund was 
organized, available for the extension of the work of God 
within Conference boundaries, and generously supported by 
our people. 


The year 1874 was signalized in the annals of Eastern 
Methodism by another \ ital change in its ecclesiastical organi- 
zation. The Conference of Eastern British America, the 
AVesleyan Methodist Conference of Ontario and Quebec, 
and the New Connexion Conference, were then constituted 
into the Methodist Church of Canada. Affiliated relations 
were dissolved, and the Eastern Conference was declared 
defunct. In subordination to a General Conference, 
Maritime districts were formed into the three Annual 
Conferences of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince 
Edward Island, and Newfoundland ; having executive and 
pastoral functions, and so perpetuated to the present time. 

Another union wave swept over the Church in 1883, 
resulting in the unification of Methodism from the Atlantic 

The Eastern Provinces. ol 

to the Pacific ; a movement which took legal effect on July 
1st, 1881. With the exception of a few congregations of 
Bible Christians in Prince Edward Island, there were no 
distinct bodies to constitute a larger union in the Maritin e 
Provinces. There had been no experience in this part of 
the work of the rivalries and interlacing operations of three 
or four divisions of the same denomination, such as had 
occasioned friction and economic waste in several parts of 
Ontario. In the meantime we had come to realize that 
geographical distances must still involve a necessity for 
eastern and western sections in some General Conference 
departments. It was scarcely to be expected, perhaps, that 
the consummation of a United Methodism would excite the 
same intense and uniform glow of enthusiasm in the eastern 
as in the western portions of the work. 

But union is strength ; we all feel it to be so now. Tab- 
ulated and authentic departmental statistics indicate an 
increasing numerical and financial strength. Eastern Con- 
ferences aggregate a staff of '262 ministers and a roll of 
35,67o communicants. An extraordinary increase of one 
hundred per cent, since 1874. " All one body we." One 
in doctrine and discipline, one in fellowship and spiritual 
enterprise, one in a glorious hymnody and blessed charily, 
one in testimony as to the worth of the work our fathers 
wrought, one in loyalty to all the crown-rights of our dhine 
Iledeomer, and one in the inagnificent unity of our Canadian 
Methodism ! 


It may be of interest at this commemorative period to 
note a semi-centennial date in connection with two important 
departments of Church enterprise in the Eastern Conference.-,. 


52 Centennial of Canadian Method' sin. 


About the beginning of January, 1840, the attention of 
our people was directed to the formation of a " Wesleyan 
Book Depot " for the dissemination mainly of our denomi- 
national literature. The agency was started on a slender 
scale and with limited resources. A room was set apart in 
the parsonage for the books ; and, commencing with credit 
for capital, the enterprise had to struggle for continued 
existence. But the Book Room thus begun has been the 
means of circulating an ever-broadening stream of pure 
literature through these lands, especially of standard 
Wesleyan works, and has proved a right arm of strength to 
Maritime Methodism. It now forms the eastern section of 
the General Conference Book and Publishing Department. 

Fifty years ago, June 9th, 1840, Charles F. Allison laid 
the corner-stone of Sackville Academy. His design was 
the foundation of an institution in which the higher 
branches of education might be taught under the control of 
the Methodist Church. For this purpose he secured an 
eligible site, and expended $16,000 ; the largest sum for 
education from one donor, up to that time, in the Provinces. 
Other munificent gifts followed. The formula used by 
Mr. Allison on the occasion of the foundation ceremonial 
was in distinct accord with the traditional policy of the 
Methodist Church : — 

" The foundation stone of this building I now proceed to 
lay in the name of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, and may the education ever to be furnished by the 
institution be conducted on Wesleyan principles, to the 
glory of God and the extension of His cause. Amen." 

Educational enterprise at Mount Allison has grown with 
the growth of our eastern work. Dr. Pickard, first Principal 
of the Academy, and first President of the College, was 

The Eastern Provinces. 53 

identified with this department for over a quarter of a 
century ; and to his administrative ability and indomitable 
energy the success achieved was, in a large measure, due. 
Under later management the same high standard of 
efficiency has been maintained, and with conspicuous success. 
Mount Allison is beautiful for situation. Several summits 
overlook the site of the first edifice, bounded by spacious 
meadows flowing away to meet the distant sky, and these 
are crowned by a commanding group of educational struc- 
tures ; an honour to the land, as well as a credit to the 
Methodist community. The several institutions at Sackville 
— Academy, Ladies' College, University and Theological 
Departments— aggregated during the past year an atten- 
dance of 290 students. 

Facts of past successes are fraught with encouragement 
for the future of our work in these Eastern Conferences. 
" The best of all is, God is with us."* 

* Those who are sufficiently interested in the subject of< this paper to 
desire more than a rapid sketch, should consult the admirable " History 
of Eastern Methodism," by Rev. T. Watson Smith. Very seasonable is 
the proposed publication of the second volume in this centennial year ; 
and, as the work is one of denominational importance, it ought to com- 
mand a most liberal patronage. 

P.S. — Since the above sketch was completed the second volume has 
been published, and reflects highest credit on the historian of our Eastern 






Bt? the Rev. Hugh Johnston, M.A., D.D. 

IT has been said that not to know history is to be always 
a child, and for a follower of Wesley to be ignorant of 
Methodist history is to be a child indeed In this Centen- 
nial year of Canadian Methodism, a better acquaintance 
with its history, its institutions and its doctrines, will be 
stimulating and inspiring to the whole Church. The present 
development of Methodism in this Dominion is the result of 
a hundred years of effort and of blessing. We are to trace 
the progress and work in Old Canada of the Wesleyan 
Methodist branch of this united household. 

The first Methodist preacher in Lower Canada was a Mr. 
Tufiey, a Commissary of the 44th regiment, which came to 
Quebec in 1780, when this pious and zealous man began 
to preach to the soldiers and Protestant emigrants of that 
city, and continued to do so "until his regiment was dis- 
banded and he returned home. The first Methodist preacher 
in Upper Canada was another British officer, Major George 
Neal, who, in 1786, began to preach on the Niagara 
frontier. While war affects disastrously all religious 
interests, yet in the marching and countermarching of 

56 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

armies, the Gospel of Peace has bem spread by converted 
soldiers. Thus was Methodism planted at Gibraltar and 
other points in the Old World ; and in British North 
America, the first to proclaim the good news of salvation 
were converted soldiers of the British army. 

The first regular Methodist itinerant who came to Canada, 
was William Losee, who, in January, 1790, cama to see 
some of his U. E. Lo\ alist relatives and friends, who had 
settled in Adolphustown. He had preached his way from 
Lake Champlain Circuit to Canada, and along through 
Matilda, Augusta, Elizabethtown and Kingston, and then 
throughout the Bay of Quinte townships, until a flame of 
revival was kindled and many converted. The settlers 
longed for a missionary to dwell among them, and a petition 
was extensively circulated and forwarded to the New York 
Conference, which met in October of the same year. The 
petition was granted, and Losee was appointed to Canada, 
with instructions to form a circuit. The field was, indeed, 
wide and hard, yet an inviting one, and he was soon back 
again, preaching with self-sacrificing zeal the words of life 
and salvation. 

The first class in Canada was formed on the Hay Bay 
shore, Sunday, February 20th, 1791 ; the second on the 
27th February, in the village of Bath ; and the third in 
Fredericksburg, on the 2nd of March, the epochal day of 
Mr. Wesley's death. The plant of Methodism had taken 
root and the tree was rising. The new circuit was called 
the Kingston Circuit, and embraced nearly all the settle- 
ments from Kingston around the Bay of Quinte and the 
peninsula of Prince Edward. The first Methodist chapel 
was built on Paul Hough's lot, Hay Bay, a humble struc- 
ture, but it was the beginning of the many costly temples 

Upper and Lower Canada. 57 

that have since been built for the worship of God by the 
Methodists in Canada. The second church was erected at 
Ernestown, near the village of Bath, and was soon opened 
for divine worship. This was organized Methodism. There 
had been a class formed in Augusta as early as 17S8, nw'e 
up of Paul and Barbara Heck, their three sons, some of 
the Emburys, John Lawrence, and perhaps other Meth- 
odists who, influenced by feelings of loyalty to the British 
crown, had left New York and come that year to reside in 
British territory. The Irish Palatines, who bore the 
"precious seed'' across the sea and became the founders of 
Methodism in New York, were thus the founders also of 
Methodism in Canada. There had likewise been a class 
formed in Stamford, by Major Neal, in 1790. But in strict 
propriety, the real commencement of the Methodist Church 
in this Province was with the organization of these classes, 
on the Kingston Circuit. At the New York Conference of 
1792, held in Albany, Losee reported 165 members. 

Losee was appointed to form another circuit on the north 
of the St. Lawrence, between Kingston and Cornwall. The 
name of this new circuit was Oswegutcliie, ca led after a stream 
which emptied its waters into the St. Lawrence at Ogdens- 
burg, opposite Augusta. Darius Dunham, an ordained 
minister, was appointed to the charge already organized, 
now called the Cataraqwi Circuit, and the first quarterly 
meeting was held on September 15th, 1792, i i Mr. Parrot's 
barn, first concession of Ernestown. Freeborn Garrettson, 
the presiding elder, was not present, but the preacher in 
charge took his place; and following the business meeting 
on Saturday afternoon, on Sabbath morning was held 
a love feast and the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 
when, for the lirst time, the. little flock in the Canadian 

58 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

wilderness received the broken bread and the cup of the 
communion from the hands of a Methodist preacher. Dun- 
ham was a fearless, faithful preacher of the Gospel, and 
these two heroic men entered upon their work with un- 
wearied zeal and activity. The moral destitution of the 
country was great, for in the two Provinces there were only 
seven or eight ordained ministers to care for the entire 
Protestant population. These Gospel rangers had to endure 
unspeakable hardships, traversing forests, crossing streams 
and rivers, making their way over almost impassable road?, 
while as to worldly support, they asked only to subsist; but 
they itinerated in the power of the Spirit, and at the end of 
the year Dunham returned a membership of 259, and Losee 
ninety members, -where there Lad been none. Others came 
to break ground — James Coleman, Sylvanus Keeler and 
Elijah Woolsey, inured to toil and privation, consecrated 
and anointed for the work ; Samuel and Michael Coate, two 
brothers, graceful in person and impressive in speech ; and 
Hezekiah C. Wooster, a man of mighty faith and prayer, 
from whom the unction never departed, whose flaming zeal 
consumed him, who near the end of his triumphant ministry, 
unable to speak above a whisper, yet with illumined coun- 
tenance, would so preach with the Holy Ghost sent down 
from heaven, that sinners trembled and fell under his words 
like men slain upon a battlefield. These pioneer preachers 
belonged to the legio tonans, and so greatly were their labours 
owned, that when this nineteenth century dawned, nearly 
1,000 members had been added to the Church in Canada. 

In 1801 ten preachers were appointed to the Canada 
District. The first Methodist church erected in the Niaoara 
country was built this year near St. David's. It was known as 
the Warner Meeting House, and a mighty work was carried 

Upper and Lower Canada. 59 

on under the preaching of Joseph Sawyer. In 1802, Nathan 
Bangs, a young man destined to be heard from in the histoiy 
and development of Methodism on this continent, laboured 
on a circuit extending from the village of Kingston to York; 
and in 1804 he obtained an appointment as missionary to 
the new settlements on the River Thames, his work extend- 
ing from London to Detroit. The people were loose m 
their morals and flagrant in their lives, totally ignorant of 
spiritual things, yet ready to receive the Gospel, and thus 
a new field was explored and mapped out. He was suc- 
ceeded by another young preacher, who became one of the 
strongest, sturdiest and most trusted leaders of Canadian 
Methodism. • This generation of Methodists cannot turn its 
face backward without seeing on the far horizon the stal- 
wart form of William Case, the " Father of Indian Missions " 
in Canada. About Ihe same time there laboured on the 
Bay of Quinte Circuit another preacher destined to play an 
important part in the history of the Church — Henry Ilyan, 
of massive form, swarthy complexion, and indomitable 
energy of character. These were days of heroic sacrifice and 
sely-denying hibours on the part of this noble army of 
itinerants. Into the lonesome, solemn forest they plunged, 
the road being only "b'azed," or marked trees to guide 
them ; they had often to sleep in the woods, or should they 
find a friendly settler, their bed would be a bundle of straw, 
their supper and breakfast "mush and milk." Their 
allowance was the most meagre pittance, and they often 
received nothing by way of support except what they ate 
and drank. But they toiled on for the welfare of men and 
the glory of God, preaching in scattered settlements, 
organizing classes, and laying the foundations of future 
churches. James Coleman, while passing up the Mohawk 

CO Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

liver en route to Canada, was obliged to go on shore fifteen 
nights in succession and kindle a fire to keep off the wild 
beasts ; and his food failing him, he was reduced to a cracker 
per day. The venerable Case, in his jubilee sermon preached 
in London, Canada, 1855, reviewing his perils and labours, 
says, " Five times have I been laid low by fevers ; once I 
was shipwrecked on Lake Ontario ; five times have I been 
through the ice with my horse, on bays, rivers and lakes of 
Canada." Yet with zeal and self-sacrifice, with energy and 
devotion, these heroic founders of empire pursued their way, 
though there awaited them certain poverty, cruel privations, 
and often an early death. They were men whose hearts God 
had touched. They had not the learning of the schools, but 
were endowed with wisdom, gifts and graces necessary for 
the work of saving men. They had great elevation of 
character, and tliey derived their patent of nobility, as well 
^,s their call, direct from the Almighty. They were filled 
with a consuming passion for their country's good and for 
the souls of men ; and like Stanley, who has just plucked 
the heart out of the mystery of the Dark Continent, or like 
Loyola, whose flaming devotion to the Crucifix encompassed 
the world, these devoted servants of Jesus Christ were glad 
to sacrifice earthly comforts, preach the Gospel to the poor 
and destitute, and be hurried to heaven that others might 
obtain like " precious faith." 

In 1810, Henry Ryan is presiding elder of the Upper 
Canada District, with a membership of 2.603, and Joseph 
' Samson, presiding elder of the Lower Canada District, with 
a membership of 193. 

The following year the venerable Bishop Asbury, who 
had appointed the first and only missionarits to Canada, 
made his first visit to the country, crossing the St. Lawrence 

Upper and Lower Canada. 61 

at St. Regis, opposite Cornwall, and preaching at all the 
principal places as he pasted along until he reached 
Kingston, from which point he crossed over to Sackett's 
Harbour on his way to the Genesee Conference. Of the 
p» ople, he says in his Journal, " My soul was much united 
to them." He confesses to the " strange feelings which 
came over him as he was crossing the line." He had left 
his native land in 1771, and when the war of the Revolution 
broke out had remained faithful to the infant cause which 
he had established. Refusing to abjure allegiance to the 
Crown of Great Britain and take an oath of fealty to 
the State authorities, he had often to find an asylum from 
the pursuit of his enemies; yet at r right he would go from 
house to house and from place to place to comfort the 
members of his flock, and enforce the saving truths of the 
Gospel. Patiently, bravely, heroically he had stood his 
ground to save the Church, and had the satisfaction of find- 
ing at the close of the war in 1783 that, while denomi- 
nations had decreased, Methodism 1 ad increased nearly fi % e- 
ft.ld ; the little band of less than 3, COO having grown to 
nearly 14,000. He had lived to see the. United States 
become a mighly Republic, and the Church whose n flans 
he had been called to superintend grow to the thrcng ; ng 
multitude of 1 73,000 souls. Now he Was again under the old 
flag in a province of the Mother Country, to visit a people 
who have ht-en raised up by his own sons in the Gospel. 
No wonder that lie had "such new feelings in Canada." 
Ueside all this, theie was doubtless thrown over his sa ntly 
spirit the shadow of another conflict between the Unit* d 
States and the paternal Government from which he had 
expatriated himself forty years ago for the sake of building 
up the Kingdom of Christ. 

G2 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

In 1812, there were in Upper Canada 13 preachers and 
2,550 members; in Lower Canada, 5 preachers and 295 
members, making a total membership of 2,845. The war 
of 1812 followed. Along the frontiers were invasions, 
bloodshed and plunder. The work was interrupted, circuits 
disturbed, for among the men in the Methodist societies all 
the able-bodied and the young were under constant drill and 
ready for the call to battle. The American preachers were 
all withdrawn, several others located, and when, at the close 
of the unhappy strife in 1815, the Genesee Conference 
resolved to go on with the work in Canada, it was renewed 
at serious disadvantage, and not until an able corps of 
native-born preachers had been raised up could the work be 
fully and efficiently carried on. 


» The first Methodist itinerant in Lower Canada was that 
eccentric character, Lorenzo Dow, calh d " Crazy Dow." He 
was sent in 1799 by Mr. Asbury to break up fresh ground 
and form a new circuit in the vicinity of Missisco Bay, 
which is partly in Vermont and partly in Lower Canada. 
He travelled through Durham and Sutton townships, made 
his w ay to Montreal, and sailed down the river to Quebec. 
He believed that the Lord had called him to visit Ireland, 
and while waiting for a vessel to cross the sea, b gan to 
preach. He collected a congregation of about 150, and 
during his short stay about twenty persons were stirred up 
to seek the Lord. 

In 1802, the apostolic Joseph Sawyer made a viit to 
Montreal, and found a few persons there who had belonged to 
the Methodist Society in New York before the Revolutionary 

Upper and Loiver Canada. 63 

la 1803, Samuel Merwin was appointed to Montreal, 
which had a membership of seven. Daniel Pickett was sent 
to the Ottawa Circuit, then lying partly in Upper and partly 
in Lower Canada, with a membership of seventy-three. 
Elijah Chichester and Laban Clark were designated as 
missionaries to St. John's on the Richelieu river and Sorel, 
a village at the confluence of that river with the St. Law- 
rence. But the great body of the settlers were French, 
the English-speaking were few, the difficulties seemed in- 
surmountable, and the mission was soon abandoned. 

Jn 1804, Martin Ruter laboured in Montreal with some 
success. He was a highly gifted man, one of the earliest 
preachers in Methodism to receive the degree of doctor of 

In 1806, we find Nathan Bangs in Lower Canada, sup- 
plying for a few weeks in Montreal until the arrival of their 
preacher, S imuel Coate, when he sets out for Quebec, his 
field of labour. He formed a small society there, and the 
sacred fire has ever since been kept alive in this stronghold 
of Romanism. Dunham and Stanstead are now mentioned 
as circuits, the former belonging to the New York Confer- 
ence, the latter to the New England Conference. 

The following year we find that imperial soul, Nathan 
Bangs, continuing his work in Montreal. 

The first Methodist church of any pretensions in Canada 
was built in this city. It was constructed of stone, and 
with it a dwelling house for the minister. The building 
was begun in 1807, and completed in 1801). This chapel 
stood on St. Snlpice Street, and was an elegant one for that 
day ; but, the expense was greater than the society in 
Montreal could bear, and Samuel Coate solicited help from 
l T |>|»er Canada, the United Stitesaud England. Coate was 

64» Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

a man of extraordinary personal appearance and great 
natural eloquence. The grace and power attending his early- 
ministry were remarkable, and he was the honoured instru- 
ment in the conversion of hundreds; but his star declined, 
he lost his zeal and piety, and this interesting man, of the most 
splendid gifts and the most widespread popularity, abandoned 
the ministry to enter business, lost all his property, and in 
the end died in poverty in a land of strangers. 

In 1809, Three Rivt-rs was added to the list of circuits. 
This old town, midway between Montreal and Quebec, had 
just received a new influx of Englishmen, who were em- 
ployed in its iron forges, and this year Mr. Molson put his 
first steamboat, The Accommodation, the second built in the 
world, on the St. Lawrence. 

In 1811, there are five preachers in Lower Canada, and 
242 members ; but the peaceful work of spreading the Gos- 
pel is interrupted by the dark prospects ot war between the 
two Anglo-Saxon nations. During this unnatural and un- 
necessary strife, all the Lower Canada circuits were unoccu- 
pied, except Quebec. The Methodists there were without a 
regular minister, but a pious sergeant of the 103rd regiment, 
named Webster, preached regularly on Sabbath, and kept 
the society together unt 1 he was removed with his regiment 
to Upper Canada, when the work fell upon Peter Langlois, 
who conducted divine service each Sabbath, from January, 
1814, until the summer of that year, when the English Con- 
ference appointed Rev. John Strong to Quebec, and Rev. 
Samuel Leigh to Montreal. 

On the restoration of peace, the British Government 
sought to increase, by emigration, the population of Canada, 
which now numbered only about 300,000 ; 220,000 being in 
Lower Canada, and about 80,000 in Upper Canada. 

Upper and Lozccr Canada. Go 

Through the immigrant gates of Quebec began to pour 
in thousands from Great Britain and Ireland ; among these 
were many Wesleyans from the Old Laud. When the 
Genesee Conference of 1815 resumed its work in Canada 
they resolved to be very careful in the choice of preachers, 
that no offence might be given to a sensitive people. The 
preachers selected were principally of British birth, and 
tftey were caretuiiy enjoined not to interfere with politics. 
Montreal and Quebec were left to be supplied. The English 
Conference had this year appointed Richard Williams to 
Quebec, and John strong to Montreal, who coming to the 
city, desired to use the chapel already erected by the Meth- 
odists. A dispute arose over the occupancy of the church, 
part of the society siding with the new preacher, the remain- 
der holding with their old friends. Bishop Asbury wrote to 
the Missionary Committee in London, and the Committee 
leplied that in consequence of an application being made to 
the British Confeience from the society at Montreal, a mis- 
sionary had been appointed to that place. Representa- 
tives were sent to the General Conference, then meeting in 
Baltimore, and a committee appointed to make, if possible, 
an amicable adjustment of the differences. The division, 
however, continued, ihe General Conference being unwilling 
to give up any part of their societies, or any of their chapels 
in the Provinces, to the superintendence of the British Con- 
nexion, while the Missionary Committee were reluctant to 
withdraw their missionaries. 

Two Methodist bodies were growing up together in mu- 
tual envy and variance. The Wesleyan .Missionary Society 
had been formed, and was just entering upon that vast 
work which lias made Wesleyan Methodism famous in all 
lands. In its g >spel spirit, and its organized, effective work, 

66 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

it was taking the lead of all other churches in the mission- 
ary movement. It was entering all lands. Why, then, 
should it not enter Canada, a colony of Great Britain, 
especially when the services of the English preachers were 
more congenial to the views and feelings of many of the 
Methodist people there % Thus, more and more of the Eng- 
glish missionaries were being sent into Upper as well as 
Lower Canada. But why should the American Church 
withdraw ? They had first occupied the field, and the whole 
country belonged Methodistically to them. Why should 
they be under any restraint from political relations, for may 
not missionaries of the Gospel go to any land ? Was not 
British Methodism doing its work among all nations 1 The 
mission house instructions with Jabez Bunting, B-ichard 
Watson an Uoseph Taylor, as General Secretaries, were of 
the most a ni -able nature. The missionaries were not to 
hivade the societies raised up by the preachers appointed by 
the American Conference, and were not to continue their 
labours in any station previously occupied by the American 
brethre >, except where the population was so large, or so 
sjatt j red, that a very considerable portion of them must be 
neglected. Nevertheless, the missionaries were placed in an 
attitude of aggression, and were looked upon as supplanters 
who had come to divide, if not to take away, the inheritance 
of their brethren. Contentions and divisions were arising 
on all sides ; and so the Rev. John Emory was appointed 
delegate to the British Conference, to adjust the difficulties 
concerning Canada, and to request a regular interchange of 
representatives from one Conference to another. The Eng- 
lish Conference embraced with pleasure " the opportunity of 
recognizing the great principle that the Wesleyan Metho- 
dists are one body in every part of the world," and acceded 

Upper and Lower Canada. G7 

to the suggestion that the American brethren should have 
the occupation of Upper Canada, and the British mission- 
aries that of Lower Canada. At this time, when the "mis- 
sionary war " closed, the English Conference had nine 
stations, with 744 members, while the Lower Canada District 
of the Genesee Conference, which extended from Duffin's 
Creek eastward to Quebec, numbered 3,000 members. 

Previous to this compact, and during the vigorous super- 
intendency of the Rev. R. L. Lusher in the year 1819, the 
first Missionary Society auxiliary to the parent Society in 
London was organized in Montreal, and a meeting of great 
interest, the first of the kind in Canada, held. The church 
liad now become too small for the wants of the congregation, 
and through the energy and liberality of a few laymen, chief 
among them Mr. John Torrance and Mr. Daniel Fisher, 
grandson of the Philip Embury who introduced Methodism 
into America, the first St. James' Street Church was built, 
at a cost of £4,550, with a seating capacity of 1,200. Thi-i 
time-honoured sanctuary gave place, in 1845, to a still more 
statel\ edifice, fragrant with still more hallowed associations, 
a church inseparably linked with the history of Methodism 
in the commercial metropolis of Canada — the rallying place 
of Protestantism in (Quebec — and now succeeded by a church 
tlie stateliest in Methodism, and one of the most splendid 
ecclesiastical edifices in the Protestant world. 

In 1S23, the appointments of the English Confeienco were 
ten missionaries, with 1,081 members. These days of the 
District Meeting in Lower Canada were davs of small and 
feeble things, but they were fruitful in results. The men 
who toiled and sacrificed were heroes, who sowed the seeds 
for future harvests and laid the foundation-stones for future 
huildin^s. Space will not permit us to trace the bright 

68 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

ministerial succession : Richard Williams, of sterling integ- 
rity and useful ministry ; John Hick, attractive and per- 
suasive ; James Knowlan, commanding and powerful ; James 
Booth, indefatigable, popular and successful ; Matthew 
Lang, of fervent piety and thorough efficiency, the fruits of 
whose earnest and useful ministry remain unto this day ; 
the two brothers, Richard and Henry Pope, men in the 
prime of a vigorous manhood and eminently qualified for 
the work in which they were engaged ; Joseph Stinson, then 
young, eloquent and unboundedly popular ; Robert Alder, 
dignified and eloquent; William Squire, of fervent piety 
consecrated intellect and exalted reputation, whose char 
acter, labours and usefulness are held in lasting remem- 
brance; Thomas Turner, tall and intellectual in appear- 
ance and eminent in piety; William Burt, truly devoted 
to God and highly esteemed ; John Barry, a polished 
shaft; and John P. Hetherington, graceful and cultured, a 
well-poised, well-rounded workman in the Master's vineyard. 
The field was trying, but thel.bourerswere loyal, conscientious 
and heaven-anointed, and the causes which gave Methodism 
its e*\\y success in Lower Canada were the same as those 
which first carried the Gospel to Antioch, to Corinth and to 

In 1832, the Missionary Committee in London resolved 
to send missionaries again to Upper Canada, and when the 
union between the Wesley an Church in Great Britain and 
"Upper Canadian Methodism was effected in the following 
year, the President of the Upper Conference becam • Chair- 
man of the Lower Canada District. This gave new impulse 
and inspiration to the work. Other faithful ministers were 
added to the ranks : Matthew Richey, eminent and elo- 
quent ; William M. Harvard, graceful in manner and saintly 
in character, who was with Dr. Coke when his body was 



Upper and Lower Canada. 69 

committed to the Indian Ocean, till "the sea gives up its 
dead;" Charles Churchill, Edmund Botterill, John Bor- 
land, James Brock, Thomas Campbell, Charles De Wolfe, 
John Jenkins, George H. Davis, John Armstrong, John 
and George Douglas, Henry Lanton, and others, laboured 
extensively and usefully ; the majority of whom were 
brought into a broader field by union with the West, 
which took place in 1854, when the Eastern District Meet- 
ing, with twenty ministers and a membership of about 
4,000, became incorporated ecclesiastically with the Upper 
Canada Conference. Thenceforth the river of Wes'eyan 
Methodism flows on in one unbroken current until another 
vital change takes place in the Methodist Union of 1874. 


When the war closed and the societies began to resume 
their former strength, the preachers appointed by the 
American Conference found themselves in a position of 
extreme delicacy. They acted, however, with peculiar cir- 
cumspeetion, and when, in 1817, the Genesee Conference was 
held at Elizabeth town, Bishop George presiding, a revival 
broke out during the five-days' session, and so profound was 
the spiritual impression made upon the public mind that 
the increase of members during the year was about 1,4^0. 

In IS 18, the first Methodist service was held in Yc rk, now 
Toronto, David Culp being appointed to the circuit. A 
society was organized and a meeting house erected. That 
little wooden, barn-like structure, some forty feet square, on 
the south side of King Street, was the forerunner of the 
thirty tasteful and commodious Methodist churches which 
now adorn the stately capital of Ontario. York was then 
the seat of government, although only a little village of 1,200 

70 Centemiial of Canadian Methodism. 

or 1,400 inhabitailte, but it soon became a Methodist centre 
both for the Canadian Church and the Wesleyan missionaries. 
In 1819, the Missionary and Bible Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in America was organized, and auxiliaries 
were formed in Canada and substantial support given to the 
toilers in the new settlements. But the enemies of Metho- 
dism and of religious freedom were ready to make a sinister 
use of the fact that its teachers were citizens of a foreign 
nation, and so, to remove these political objections, the 
Genera] Conference of 1820 gave authority to establish an 
Annual Conference in^fciiada by and with the advice and 
consent of the Genesee - Conference. The Genesee Annual 
Conference met this year on the Canadian side of the 
Niagara, on the famous battle-ground of Lundy's Lane ; and 
on Sunday, the little meeting-house being too small to accom- 
modate the congregation assembled, thpy repaired to the 
grove and worshipped God on the very spot where six years 
before the two contending armies had engaged in deadly 
strife. Of the 122 ministers and preachers receiving appoint- 
ments, twenty-eight had their fields of labour in the Province. 
The presiding elders of the two Canadian districts were 
Henry Ryan and William Case, and according to the esti- 
mate of these brethren, who were thoroughly acquainted 
with the religious condition of the Province, there were then 
about 211 public religious teachers in Upper Canada, and of 
these, including local preachers and exhorters, 145 were 
Methodists. The British missionaries were now withdrawn 
from Upper Canada, and the societies of Lower Canada 
placed under the pastoral care of the English "VVesleyans. 
There was peace in the Methodist household, but no numer- 
ical progress ; indeed, at the Conference of 1821, a decrease 
of 659 was reported. This is accounted for because of the 
foreign jurisdiction of originally organized Methodism. The 

Upper and Lower Canada. 71 

memory of the recent struggle rankled in the Canadian 
mind. Many settlers coming from the old land had a strong 
repugnance to anything from the United States, and this 
feeling was encouraged by the Canadian authorities. When, 
therefore, according to the amicable arrangement made 
between the two Connexions, the Wesleyan missionaries 
withdrew, many families refused to join the American 
branch, and* either united with no church whatever or joined 
other communions and became lost to Methodism. Nor 
were these prejudices confined to the Wesle}ans, for in 
making the transfer in Lower Canada some members could 
not be persuaded to unite with the British section. In 
Montreal the American proclivities of some led them to 
combine with others and give a call to an American Presby- 
terian minister, thus forming the nucleus of the strong 
American Presbyterian Church of that city. To allay all 
irritation and remove the objection to foreign ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction, the ministers who were labouring in Carada 
urged upon the Genesee Conference of 1822-3 the necessity 
of forming at once a Canada Conference. More and more 
the civil disabilities imposed by an intolerant Adminis- 
tration were being felt. A Bill was introduced to all w 
Methodist ministers to solemnize matrimony in Upper 
Canada, but though it passed the Assembly, it was rejec ed 
by the Legislative Council. Why was this manifest 
denied to the largest body of Christians in the Province 1 
There is but one answer. 

In 1822, the great work of Indian evangelization began. 
The devout Alvin Torry, labouring on the Grand River, 
was obliged to pass an Indian reservation made up of 
Iroquois and other tribes, all pagan except the Mohawks, 
who, though professedly Christian, were no better than the 
heathen around them. Torry visited these tribes and became 

72 Centennial of Canadian MetJiodism. 


interested in their welfare, and when the presiding elder, 
the Rev. William Case, came to his field of labour and heard 
from the missionary what had already been done, he said, 
" Brother Alvin, prepare to go as a missionary to thpse 
Indians after Conference. We must enter upon the work 
of Christianizing those tribes. " Shortly after, the conversion 
of an Indian youth named Peter Jones opened a great door 
for the evangelization of the Mohawks and Delawares, and a 
remarkable work of grace began among the Red men, which 
lias gone on with increasing power to this Centennial year. 
In 1824, the first Indian church was built on the Grand 
river, and day-schools and Sabbath-schools were established. 
Among the questions before the General Conference of 
1824, were lay delegation, and the making of the office of 
the presiding elder elective. The Canadian portion of the 
Genesee Conference were in favour of the reform, and the 
two presiding elders were left out of the delegation to Balti- 
more. Both, however, attended the Conference, Mr. Case 
to urge the immediate organization of an Annual Confer- 
ence for Canada, Mr. Ryan as the head of a deputation 
asking for entire separation. It was decided to organize an 
Annual Conference for Upper Canada ; but the disappointed 
elder began an agitation for an immediate breaking off from 
the American Church. Meetings were held, and much un- 
easiness created, until two of the bishops, George and Hed- 
ding, accompanied by Nathan Bangs, made an episcopal 
visitation, travelling over the principal circuits of the Pro- 
vinces, explaining the state of affairs and assuring the 
people that if they desired independence, the next General 
Conference would readily give it. The agitation subsided, and 
when the Conference was held, August 26th, at Hallowell, 
now Picton, general harmony prevailed. A Conference 
Missionary Society was formed, and from this o guization 

Upper and Loivcr Canada. 73 

the Missionary Society of the Methodist Church dates its 
annual report. During the next three years the spirit of 
dissension was rife. Eider Ryan was a firm, persistent, 
ir epressible man. He had commenced his itinerant life in 
IbOO, and had laboured zealously, self-denyingly, devotedly 
for ihe Church. A Son of Thunder, he had given forth in 
mighty sound the Word of God. Now he had become 
estranged from his fellow-labourers, and adroitly availing 
himself of the political agitations of the day, he inveighed 
ai»ainst the domination of re publica n Methodism. In 1827, 
he withdrew from the Conference. The following May tlie 
General Conference, held at Pittsburg, authorized the Canada, 
Conference to form themselves into a separate, independent 
Church. This did not satisfy Mr. Ryan. Instead of re- 
turning to the Church, the indomitable man began to 
traverse the country, making inroads upon the societies, and 
sowing broadcast the seeds of discord and division. A con- 
vention was called, and a new Church, denominated the 
Canadian Wt-sleyan Church, was organized. Not many left 
the old Church to become Ryanites, as they were called ; 
but the new cause struggled feebly on until it was saved 
from utter extinction by becoming united with the New 
Connexion Methodists in England. This was the first 
schism in Canadian Methodism, and it had its root in the 
disappointed ambition of an able and useful man. 



We Lave followed the river of Wesleyan Methodism in 
C;>n:ula from its two headwaters in England and America. 
Oiif stream is llowin^ aloiej in increasing strength ad 
volume through Lower Canada in connection with British 

74* Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


Methodism. The other stream is broad and full and well- 
defined, a regular, legitimate branch of Wesleyan Method- 
ism, though hitherto connected with the Methodism of the 
United States. It is flowing in widening influence through 
Uppnr Canada. In October, 1828, the Conference assem- 
bled in Switzer's Chapel, Ernestown, Rev. Bishop Hedding, and formed itself into the Canada Methodist 
Episcopal Church. It was decided to continue the Episco. 
pal form of church government, and Rev. Wilbur Fisk was 
elected as first bishop. He, however, declined the office, 
as did also Nathan Bangs and John B. Stratton, who were 
afterwards elected, so that the independent Church was 
never episcopal, except in name. Rev. William Case was 
made President, and appointed Superintendent of all the 
Indian missions in the Province. The membership at this 
time was 9,G78, of which 915 were Indians. So great pro- 
gress had been made in the evangelization of the Aborigines 
on the Grand, Credit and Thames rivers, and on Lakes 
Simcoe, Mud, Scugog and Rice, that it was as if a nation 
had been born in a day. 

Let us glance at the bead-roll of worthies, the heroic and 
venerable figures who compose the ministers and preachers 
of the Church at this time. There are four gifted men of 
the name of Ryerson, men of inherited ability and of the 
highest intellectual power. George has just been received 
on trial. Egerton is still a probationer, having entered the 
ministry in 1825; but he already displays the vigour of an 
intellectual Colossus, and his achievements as a writer and 
debater foreshadow his still greater influence. William, 
who entered the work in 1821, is presiding elder of the Bay 
of Quinte Distri t, and in the zenith of his power, the most 
popular and effective minister in the Province. John, who 

Upper and Lower Canada. 75 

began in 1820, is presiding elder of the Niagara District, a 
controlling spirit in the Church, clear minded and accurate, 
with a singularly calm and well-balanced judgment. The 
presiding elder of the remaining district, the Augusta, was 
P dlander Smith, bright, active and successful. Labouring 
among the Indians were Edmund Stoney, Joseph Messmore, 
William Smith, John Beatty, Peter Jones and Willi in 
Case, who directed the work, and who, during his long and 
eventful life, did far more for Indian evangelization than an 
Elliot or a Brainerd. Among the fathers were Samuel 
Bkou, Joseph Gatchell, James Wilson ar d David You- 
mans. In the energy of mid-life were James Richardsoii, 
William Griffis, Matthew Whiting, George Sovereign, John 
H. Huston, George Ferguson, diminutive in body but great 
in spirit, and full of divine unction ; Robert Corson, Hamil- 
ton Biggar, and David Wright, handsome and gifted ; J. C. 
Davidson, Ezra rlealy, George Biss^Tl, Charles Wood, Jacob 
and George Poole, Cyrus A. Allison, William H. Williams, and 
Thomas Madden, courtly, methodical and convincing; John 
Black, witty, genial and greatly belo\ ed ; Franklin Metcalfe, 
fascinating and e'oquent, already entered upon his brilliant 
career. Among the young men were Alvah Adams, the 
portly George Parr, Asahel Hurlburt, the first of four 
brothers, Thomas, Sylvester and Jesse, who were to render 
important service to the Church ; John S. Atwood, Anson 
Crcen, ardent and full of enthusiasm, giving signs of great 
promise ; Ephraim Evans, of logical acumen, luminous speech 
and pulpit popularity; and Richard Jones, direct, forcible, 
practical, full of that fire and fervour which were to blaze for 
more than threescore years on the altar of the ( hurch. 
Andrew Prindle had become too corpulent and unwieldy of 
body for the it uerant work. Wyatt Chamberlayne was 

76 of Canadian Methodism. 

superannuated ; so also was James Jackson, but he espoused 
the cause of Mr. Ryan so warmly and actively, that the 
movemenc became known as the Ryan-Jackson division. 

Thefollowing year the Christian Guardian was established, 
and Egerton Ryerson elected editor. The "Clergy Reserves" 
agitation was then in full blast. These Clergy Reserves 
consisted of one-seventh of all the surveyed lands of Upper 
Canada, which had been set apart by the Constitutional Act 
of 1791 for the support and maintenance of a " Protestant 
clergy," The Church of England in the colonies, which had 
the powerful countenance of official favour, now claimed that 
the " Protestant clergy " were the clergy of that Church 
alone, and in addition to these lands large English Parlia- 
mentary grants were applied for, and a large land-endow- 
ment granted for a University, which was to be the monopoly 
of the Church of England. The noxious system involved 
n»pt merely the support of the Church of England as the State 
Church in Canada, but the extermination of the other 
Protestant bodies, particularly the Methodist Church. In 
July, 1825, the Venerable Archdeacon of York, the late 
Right Reverend Dr. Strachan, had delivered a sermon on 
the death of the Bishop of Quebec, Rev. Dr. Mountain, in 
which he not only defended Church Establishments, but 
assailed the other denominations, particularly misrepresent- 
ing the motives and conduct of the Methodist preachers in 
the Province. This sermon was not printed until the 
following year, and as soon as it appeared, Egerton Ryerson, 
then only twenty-three years of age, and just entered the 
ministry, published an indignant and eloquent reply, in which 
he did not hesitate to pronounce Dr. Strachan's statements 
to be "ungenerous, unfounded and false." This Review 
produced a profound sensation. It was the first shot fired 

Upper and Lower Canada. 77 

against the exclusive claims of a dominant Church, and the 
battle ceased not until the equality of all religious denomi- 
nations before the law was established, and the constitutional 
rights of the people of Upper Canada secured. In 1827, 
Archdeacon Strachan furnished the Colonial Department 
with an ecclesiastical chart and letter, purporting to give 
correct information respecting the state of the Churches in 
Upper Canada. The letter repref-er ted the Methodist 
ministers as exercising an influence hostile to British insti- 
tutions. The publication of this letter and chart roused 
such indignation throughout the Province thar the Legisla. 
tive Assembly was petitioned to ask for an investigation of 
these statements. A Select Committee was appointed, more 
than fifty witnesses were examined, and the Committee 
embodied the results of their investigation in a report, in 
which they bore powerful testimony to the political integrity 
and loyalty of Methodist preachers and to the beneficial 
influence of their labours. The report is in the following 
terms: — 

" The insinuations against the Methodist clergymen the 
committee have noticed with peculiar regret To the disin- 
terested and indefatigable exertions of these pious men this 
Province owes much. At an early period of its history, 
when it was thinly settled and its inhabitants were scattered 
through the wilderness and destitute of all other means of 
religious instruction, these ministers of the Gospel, animated 
by Christian zeal and benevolence, at the sacrifice of health 
and interest and comfort, carried among th^ people the 
blessings and consolations and sanctions of our holy religion. 
Their influence ami instruction, far from having (as is repre- 
sented in the letter) a tendency hostile to our institutions, 
have been conducive, in a degree which cannot easily be 
estimated, to the reformation of their hearers from \v-vw- 
tiousness, and the diffusion of correct morals, the foundation 

78 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

of all sound loyalty and social order. There is no reason to 
believe that, as a body, they have failed to inculcate, by 
precept and example, as a Christian duty, an attachment to 
the Sovereign and a cheerful and conscientious obedience to 
the laws of the country. More than thirty -live years have 
elapsed since they commenced their labours in the colonics. 
In that time the Province has passed through a war which 
put to the proof i he loyaltv of the people. If their influence 
and i structions have the tendency mentioned, the effects 
bv this time must be manifest; yet no one doubts that the 
Methodists are as loyal as any of His Majesty's subjects. 
An I the very fact that while their clergymen are dependent 
for their support upon the voluntary contributions of their 
people, the number of their members has increased so as to 
be now, in the opinion of almost all the witnesses, greater 
than that of the members of any other denomination in this 
Province, is a complete refutation of any suspicion that their 
influence and instructions have such a tendency; for ifc 
avi uld be a gross slander on the loyalty of the people to that they would countenance and listen with com- 
plac ncy to those wh jse influence was exerted for such base 

Regarding the work amongst the Indians the report thus 
s eaks : — 

"In the course of their inquiries the committee obtained 
inf-Tn ation, whiih, to t eir surprise and regret, gave them 
reason to believe that to creatn in the minds of the Indians 
recently converted under the divine blessing to the Christian 
religion, an influence unfavourable to their present religious 
teachers, through whose exertions this change has taken 
place, the name of His Majesty's Government had been 
used ; and even that intimation had been made ( f an 
intention to compel them to come under the Church of 
England. The great and surprising change which has 
occurred within a short period of time in the character and 
condition of large bodies of the Mississauga Indians is well 
known ; from a state of vice and ignorance, wretchedness 

Upper and Loivcr Canada. 79 

and degradation, almost brutal, they have been brought to 
habits tf industry, order and temperance, a thirst for 
instruction and knowledge, a profession of the Christian 
religion, and apparently a cordial and humble belief of its 
truths and enjoyment of its blessings. In this change the 
Methodists have been chiefly instrumental. They have 
manifested the most benevolent zeal in accomplishing it; 
they have sent missionaries and established schools among 
them, which are supported by voluntary contributions, and 
they are still labouring among them with the same disinter- 
ested spirit and the same surprising encouragement and 

The Report was adopted by the House, as also an 
Address to the King founded on the report, praying that the 
proceeds of the Clergy Reserves should be placed at the dis- 
posal of the Province, for the purposes of general education 
and national improvement ; and that the charter of King's 
College be cancelled, for one granted on more liberal princi- 
ples. The Legislative Council opposed and sought to coun- 
teract the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly. The 
agitation continued for twenty-five years. 

In 1840, the Church of England was deprived of an ex- 
clusive interest in the Clergy Reserves ; but not till 1854 was 
the controversy settled, when the Canadian Legislature, 
authorized by Imperial Parliament, passed an Act by which 
the Clergy Reserves were finally alienated from religious to 
secular purposes. In this long struggle other Protestant 
denominations took an important part ; but the Methodist 
Church was the precursor, the first, constant and most effec- 
tive promoter of civil and religious liberty and equality for 
the entire country. 

Conspicuous above all other leaders of the public mind 
was Dr. Ryerson, who gave to this cause the energy of his 

80 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

rarely equalled powers, and placed his native land under an 
obligation which can never be too fully acknowledged. This 
was the opus magnum of his life, although he also planned 
and perfected for Ontario a national system of education 
which is unsurpassed, if, indeed, it is equalled by any other 
Public School system in the world. Honour, all honour to 
the name of Egerton Ryerson. 

We have been borne along the stream of Methodist his- 
tory down to the year 1830, when seven preachers weie 
received on trial, and fifty-s j ven were appointed to circuits 
and missions. The total membership is 12,563, the increase 
during the year being 1,215. At this Conference the 
establishment of a Seminary of learning was decided upon. 
Energetic action was also taken on Temperance, Sabbaih- 
schools and Missions, especially the Indian Department, 
which now numbered a membership of 1,200, and among its 
missionaries were such well-known names as John Suudav, 
^)avid Sawyer and James Evans. 

In 1831, the Conference was held for the first time in 
York, and so profoundly impressed was the Church with 
Ithe need of higher education, that among the means taken 
!to assist in the erection of the Upper Cana la Academy at 
Cobourg, the ministers who had, by the Marriage Bill just 
p s-ed, acquired the right to celebrate niatrimonv, wit'* 
characteristic spirit and enterprise, pledged their mar- 
riage fees to this object. This was a year of great re- 
vival power, and the accessions to the membership were 
3,714. But the ecclesiastical ship that had been spreading 
all sail, was entering upon troubled waters. The arrange- 
ment as to territory that had been entered into in 1820, 
b-t*eenthe British and American Conferences, had thus 
far been faithfully adhered to. But the Canadian colonial 

Upper and Lower Canada. 81 

authorities, now anxious to divide the Methodist Church on 
the Clergy Reservps question, invited the London Wesleyan 
Missionary Society to send missionaries into Upper Canada, 
offering the sum of £1,000 sterling per annum for the 
support of such missions. There was also the constant 
immigration of Methodist families from the Old Country, 
who were appealing to the Missionary Committee for help. 
These things induced the Secretaries of the Mission House 
to inform the President of the Canadian Conference that 
tliey were about to re-enter (pper Canada. Fraternal rela- 
tions were likely to be again disturbed. Rival church 
altars were again to be set up. The very thought of this 
uave pain to the true lovers of Zion, and when the Rev. 
Robert Alder, accompanied by three other Wesleyan minis- 
ters, arrived in Toronto, a consultation was held, and pro- 
posals for conserving the peace and unity of the Church 
were made. The Missionary Secretary, Dr. Alder, remained 
in Canada until the meeting of the Conference, which was 
held in Hallowell, now Picton, on the 18th August, 1832, 
when articles of union were adopted. The British Confer- 
ence the following year acceded to the arrangement, and 
thus the union with the Parent body was accomplished. 
The discipline, economy and form of church government of 
t'ie Wesleyan Methodists in England were adopted, and 
the Canadian Church, with a membership of 16,090, with 
seventy itinerant preachers and eighty churches, was merged 
into the original body. This union, which had been accom- 
plished without any sacrifice of conscience or of principle, 
and was to afford a practical illustration of the truth that 
th" Wesleyan Methodists are one in every part of the world, 
was attended with sore troubles, iiy the articles of union, 
tiie Episcopate was not only changed, but the ordination of 

82 Centennial of Canadian Methodism 

local preachers was discontinued, while District Conferences 
gave way to the Local Preachers' Meeting on each circuit. 
This change gave umbrage to several local preachers, who 
began to exert a disturbing influence. In the early months 
of 1834 gatherings were held, and resolutions adopted 
condemning the " Local Preachers' Resolutions " of the Con- 
ference, and expressing disapproval of the union. Three 
such meetings were held before the Conference of 1834. 

After the session of the Wesleyan Conference at King- 
ston, there met, on the 25th June, 1834, at Cummers' 
niee ting-house, nine miles north of Toronto, three elders, 
one deacon and several local preachers. This was prelimi- 
nary to the calling of what was denominated a General Con- 
ference of Elders, which assembled in Belleville on February 
10th, 1835, when the Rev. John Reynolds, a located 
preacher, was elected General Superintendent, This Con- 
ference met again in June, 1835, when John Reynolds was 
consecrated Bishop, and the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Canada fairly launched. The new body assumed the title, 
discipline and claim of the Old Church; a number of local 
preachers offered themselves for the travelling connexion, 
and at the end of one year there were no less than twenty- 
one preachers on circuits, and a membership of 1,243. 

In 1836 came judicial trials to obtain possession of p o- 
perty originally deeded to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
and the litigations extended over two years, when the 
courts confirmed the title of the Wesleyan Methodist Church 
to the ownership of the church property, as being the true 
representative and successor of the original Methodist 
Church in Canada. Happily these are dead issues now, 
but those were days when evil was in the a'r, wh»n the 
spirit of dissension was rife, when political and religious 

I ppcr and Lower Canada. S3 

prejudices prevailed, and Methodism was scattered and 
broken into contending factions. 

Internal dissension also prevailed in the united Church. 
It seemed impossible to weld into one the British and Cana- 
dian elements. Energetic presidents, like George Marsden, 
Edmund Grindrod, William Lord, the saintly William M. 
Harvard, Joseph Stinson, travelled through the country, 
engaged in manifold and self-denying labours. But there 
were strifes as well as toils. Dr. Ryerson was still forging 
and hurling his hot thunderbolts against Church-of-England- 
supremacy-and-monopoly in the Province, while the author! 
ties of the Mission House seemed to be on the side of 
the Church and State party. Offences increased. The 
whole Methodist household was in tumult and schism, 
" without were fightings, within were fears." The union, 
instead of being an instrument giving forth harmonious 
niu^ic was like " sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh." 
There was direct conflict between the representatives of 
the, British Conference in this country, and the leaders of 
the Canadian Church, who were strongly committed to the 
pul) ic question of the day. Tremendous issues were trem- 
bling in the scale. No fact was written more plainly on 
the jinge of colonial history than the fact that a state chut* h 
was unacceptable to the people. Against the effort of the 
lli'jjh Church oligarchy and the Executive to force an 
i' tib'ishment on the Province, the Methodist Church ex 
penciled its; supreme energies. But the \Vesle\an, conser- 
vative, old-world views of obedience to the constituted 
authorities, and subordination to a state church, looked upon 
the artion of the leaders of the Canadian Israel, in the main- 
tenance of their civil and religious rights, as political inter- 
meddling. The differences and misunderstandings grew until 

84 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

complete separation took place. This was the crucial epoch 
in Canadian Methodist history. 

When the British Conference in August, 1840, decided 
upon separation, a special meeting of the Canadian Conference 
was called for October 22nd, in Toronto. Eighty members 
assembled in the Newgate (Adelaide) Street Church, and 
reorganization took place. Twelve members, among them the 
venerable Father Cas^, withdrew, to attach themselves to the 
Wesleyan District Meeting, the rallying place of which was 
the old missionary chapel on George Street. The Canada 
Conference bad no missionary funds, independent of the 
Wesleyan Missionary So iety, and was now responsible for 
the support of eight domestic missions and six Indian mis- 
sions, the remaining three having been transferred to the 
missionary district of the British Conference. The union 
had lasted for seven years ; now there were to be seven 
^ears of long, weary strife, wh n societies must be divided, 
schisms and heart-burnings created. The patronage of the 
Government and the funds of the Wesleyan Missionary 
Society strengthened the hands of the District Meeting, 
so that year by year the sphere of its aggressive operations 
was enlarging and the number of its earnest, well-equipped 
and consecrated missionaries increased. But the spirit of 
the strong, sturdy, trusted leaders of the Canadian Confer- 
ence animated the whole Church. It was a year of unpre- 
cedented activity. Missionary deputations swept over the 
land. Revival meetings became the order of the day. 
Money flowed into the missionary treasury ; souls were con- 
verted, and at the end of the year it was found that the 
missionary contributions largely exceeded those of any pre- 
vious year, while after a loss of 1,200 members by transfer, 
the net gain in membership was 663. In 1841, the mem- 

Upper an I Lower Canada. 85 

bership on the Wesleyan District Meeting was 1,495; the 
Canadian Wesleyan Church, 17,017 ; total Wesleyan mem- 
ship, 18,512, an increase of 2,158. One is ready to wonder 
that good men could be engaged in such divisive conflict, 
and that God should so manifestly bless their labours ; but, 
as Pope has put it, 

"'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none 
Go just alike, yet each believes his own." 

Each side was conscientious and determinedly in earnest. 
On both sides self-sacrificing men toiled to advance the 
interests of true religion, and much good was done. Y^t 
the evils of division were manifest everywhere. Inex'in- 
guishable discord prevailed. The bitter waters penetrattd 
into domestic circles and separated members of the same 
household ; they flowed even into the Indian wigwam-, and 
made confusion among; the children of the bow and arrow. 
But wiser counsel began to have prevalence. Men on both 
sides came to see that there was no justifiable ground of hos- 
tility and disunion. The honour of Christ and the character 
of Methodism demanded that this unnatural strife should 
cease. The Canada Conference of 1846 adopted resolutions 
favourable to reconciliation and reunion. A deputation 
was appointed to attend the British Conference and seek to 
correct the misunderstandings and restore peace. A com- 
mittee, with full power to act on behalf of the Conference, 
met in the Mission House, and after a long and faithful dis- 
cussion, unanimously adopted Articles of Reunion. Dr. Alder 
was again sent out to Canada. The Basis of Union was laid 
before the Quarterly Meetings, and received the sanction of 
the lay officials of the C >nnexion. The Canadian Con ference 
assembled in Adelaide Street Church, Toronto, in Juiitj. 

80 of MetJiodism. 

18 17 ; the District Meeting met at the same time in the 
Richmond Street Church. The Articles of Union as agreed 
upon were honourable to both parties, and were adopted 
with great unanimity of sentiment. The chair of the 
Canadian Conference was yielded to Dr. Alder, the appointee 
of the British Conference, and the members of the Mission- 
ary District that were to remain' in the Province were intro- 
duced and heartily welcomed. The estrangement of years was 
happily ended, and mutual congratulations, thanksgiving and 
prayer followed. Rev. Enoch Woo d, from New Brunswick, 
who had accompanied Dr. Alder on his pacific mission, and 
by his wisdom and weight of character had greatly helped 
to promote unity and harmony, became Superintendent of 
Missions and the representative of British Conference 
interests in that department. Rev. Matthew Richey w s 
appointed co-delegate or Vice-President, and was thus acting 
kPresi ient throughout the year. The united membership 
numbered nearly 25,000. The union was one of lasting 
harmony, and the Church began to develop rapidly in mis 
sionary enterprise, church building, educational and spiritual 
activity; every department of connexional work seemed to 

In 1854, Wesleyan Methodism was still further consoli- 
dated by the amalgamation of the Eastern District Meeting 
with the Canada Conference. At the Belleville Conferem.-" 
of that year a delegation came from Eastern Canada with 
proposals for amalgamation, sustained by the hearty concur- 
rence of the British Conference. The arrangement was carried 
into immediate operation, and the two sections of Wesleyan 
Methodism in Upper and Lower Canada now united gave a 
total membership of 36,333, with a ministerial strength <»f 
nearly 200. The two streams of Wesleyan Methodism in 

Upper and Lower Canada. S7 

Canada, one of which had steadily preserved its connection 
with the parent Wesleyan Church, the other having itx Join 
et origo in the Church which Mr. Wesley organized on this 
continent, had flowed along with American Methodism till 
1828, then became distinct and separate, then united with 
British Methodism, again independent, once more reunited 
with English Wesleyanism, now coalesce and flow together — 
one river of salvation with well-defined and widening bai.ks, 
calm waters and deepening current, and destined to flow on 
through two decades, when other kindred streams uniting, 
it should roll along, its affluent waters widening with the 
nation's history, and fertilizing a still broader area. 

Our diminishing space will not allow more than a pass'ng 
reference to these remaining twenty years of Canadian 
Wesleyan history, when the Church had rest and entered 
up >n an era of unprecedented prosperity. The truth of God 
as proclaimed by the Methodist itinerants no longer made 
its way under many and heavy disadvantages; and the 
peculiarities of Wesleyan usages, doctrine and polity weie 
firmly maintained. The standard of | ersonal and family 
piety was raised to a higher level. All the resources of 
Church strength were actively develop* d. Men rich in 
gifts and culture and "full of the Holy Ghost and faith " 
entered the ministry, and under their zealous labours " much 
people were added unto the Loid." From year to year the 
increase of church-membership was continuous. A richer 
h;.ptism of the spirit of holiness and of active power lested 
alike upon pastors and people. ►Sabbath-schools increase d 
in numbers and greatly improved in efficiency. 

The educational facilities of the Church were vastly 
enlarged. The honour of leading the way in university work 
in Upper Canada belongs to the Methodist Church; for in 


88 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

October, 1841, with Egerton Ryerson, D.D., as Principal, 
Victoria College, before Upper Canada Academy, began its 
university career. In September, 1850, Rev. S. S. Nelles, 
M.A., a scholar of rare genius, philosophic acumen, and 
brilliant eloquence, was called to preside over the destinies 
of the denominational University. He gave himself ur- 
sparingly to the work, and made a wider and deeper impres- 
sion upon the Church than any other man in favour of 
higher education. The spirit of the Methodist people was 
quickened in the direction of higher learning, a circle of 
ladies' colleges established, as well as another Theological 
C liege in Montreal, in affiliation with Victoria, under the 
Principalship of George Douglas, LL.D., whose peerless gifts 
a? a preacher and rich mental endowments eminently fitted 
him as an inspiring teacher and head of a " School of the 

The Christian Guardian continued to exert its educating, 
reforming, elevating influence, and the Book and Publishing 
Establishment to diffuse a healthy and attractive Christian 
literature. In missionary work the Church continued to 
'•lengthen its cords and strengthen its stakes," and having 
crossed a continent to enter wide and inviting fields of 
labour, it dared to cross an ocean to establish a foreign 
mission, and preach to the millions of Japan "the unsearch- 
able riches of Christ." 

The material prosperity of the Church was manifest in 
the increasing number of i s sanctuaries and the improved 
character of its church architecture. Thus the growing 
wealth, numbers and power of Methodism were realized in 
her educational work, her missions and her churches. 

While these spiritual forces were shaping societr, a new 
power was also being developed. As the Annual Conference 

Upper and Loivcr Canada. 89 

qrew to embrace a larger care and a wider range of topics, 
the need of laymen in the highest councils of the Church 
began to be felt, and honoured and trusted lay-officials were 
found on the Educational, Sabbath-school, Temperance and 
(. hurch Extension committees. 

From each district, laymen were appointed to attend these 
several Conference committees. The sentiment in favour of 
lay co-operation was growing rapidly, and the Church was 
ripening for a change in its administration and govern- 

By the Articles of Union, the English Conference was 
annually to appoint one of their number as President of the 
Canadian Conference. These were always men of command- 
ing gifts and influence, and the Church owed much of its 
growing prestige and power to their administration and 
energy, their apostolic zeal and labours, their far-reaching 
views and sublime consecration to the one work of savinsr 
men. Among these must be mentioned James Dixon, wise 
in council, robust and mighty in speech, whose sermons 
were incomparable in excellence and power ; Matthew 
Uichey, a Chrysostom in the pulpit, dignified in manner 
and genial of soul; Enoch Wood, of fervent piety, sound 
judgment, tender and powerful in his pulpit ministrations, 
unwearied in his devotion to the interests of the Church, 
and reappointed to the presidential office for seven suc- 
cessive years by unanimous request of his brethren ; 
Joseph Stinson, wise in administration, of fine presence, 
•attractive speech and broad culture, for four years occupy- 
ing the chair of Conference ; W. L. Thornton, whose 
saintly character, thor ugh culture, and spirit-baptized ser- 
mons and addresses can never be forgotten; and William 
Morley Punshon, whose extraordinary gifts were for u\e 

90 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

• • 

years devoted to the Church in Canada, whose transcendent 
eloquence not only elevated the tone of the entire Canadian 
pulpit, but whose influential character, executive ability, 
marvellous energy and enthusiasm promoted every depart- 
ment of church work, particularly the educational, the 
missionary and the church extension. To his interest and 
exertions was largely due the erection of the Metropolitan 
Church in the city of Toronto, the building o$ which gave 
such an impetus to church improvement throughout the cities, 
towns and country places of Canada. 

On four occasions the Conference nominated for the chair, 
honoured and beloved brethren among themselves ; in 1862, 
Anson Green, who had rendered illustrious service to Cana- 
dian Methodism ; in 1865, Richard Jones, who fulfilled a 
long and noble ministry ; in 1867, James Elliott, genuine 
in his religious life, and an exceptionally gifted preacher ; 
and in 1873 and 1874, Samuel D. Rice, of vigorous and 
well- furnished intellect, a born administrator, and who dis- 
charged the duties of the office with pre-eminent success. 
The time would fail us to tell of other men whose gifts, 
graces and services were given to ' the Church. In the 
Book and Publishing Department, George R. Sanderson, 
who had already given five years to editorial work, and after 
five years' service in this department, returned to the pastor- 
ate to render eminent service in many a pulpit. Samuel 
Rose, honoured and beloved, who filled the office of Book 
Steward for fourteen years. As editors of the Christian 
Guardian, James Spencer, wielding his trenchant pen for 
nine years, followed by Wellington Jeffers, another Jupiter 
tonans, who after nine years resigned the editorial chair to 
Edward Hartley Dewart, the distinguished occupant who 
has held it to the present time. Among other Confer- 

Upper and Leaver f;i 

ence leaders and pastors whose names are indlsM.luUv 
connected with this period of the Church'- hi to y ;uh 
I. B. Aylsworth, M.D., J. E. Betts, W. S. Blackcock, 
H. F. Bland, John Borland, John Bred n, James [hock, 
John Carroll, Edwin Clement, Thomas Cosf id, Ken- 
nedy Creighton, George H. Davis, John Douse, X hie V. 
English, Ephraim Evans, Michael Fawcett, Charles Fisk, 
Robert Fowler, M.D., Charles Freshman, D.D., Joh Gen 
ley. George Goodson, James Gray, William S. Grifti , 
William Hansford, Ephraim B. Harper, M.A., Isaac 1>. 
Howard, John Hunt, the Hurlburt brothers, John G. Laird, 
Charles Lavell, M.A., John Learoyd, Joseph W. McCallum, 
George McDougall, George McRitchie, D. Madden, William 
Pollard, A. E. Russ, William Scott, John Shaw, James 
C. Slater, John Wakefield, Richard Whiting, John A. 
Williams, and George Young, Among the young men 
who had not yet reached the bright summer of their 
career were William Briggs, Nathaniel Bui wash, M.A., 
George Cochran, Charles S. Eby, B.A., Samuel J. and 
William J. Hunter, T. W. Jeffrey, Alexander Langford, 
W. R. Parker, M. A., John Potts, W. W. Ro.^s, E. B. Ryck- 
man, M.A., W. I. Shaw, B.A., E. A. Stafford, Alexander 
Sutherland, Thomas G. Williams, and William H. Withrow, 
M.A., who was just rising into distinguished position as a 
writer and scholar. Some of these were now holding the 
most conspicuous churches, and giving pledge of still ampler 
usefulness. Egerton Ryerson, though Chief Superintendent 
of Education, still exercised great influence in Conference 
deliberations ; the remaining two members of the powerful 
triumvirate of that name were in the calm decay of their 
autumnal season. Other names should be added, did space 
allow, for in studying the history of the Church, we must 

92 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

study the character and achievements of its leading spirits. 
The men of rare qualities, endowments, and successes, are 
the r^al events in Church history. 

About the year 1870, Methodist Union became a vital 
question. The British Provinces had been consolidated into 
the Dominion of Canada, and Confederation furnished new- 
opportunities for the spread and progress of Methodism and 
its cons ilidation into one mighty community throughout the 
Dominion. In 1871, the Conference appointed a Committ' e 
on Union to confer with the other branches of the Metho- 
dist household. The question of admission of lay delegates 
to a General Conference, should such a court be organized 
under any union that might be effected, had been submitted 
to the Quarterly Meetings ; and out if three hundred and 
sixty -four Official Boards voting, three hundred and nineteen 
•were favourable to lay delegation. This aided greatly the 
pending negotiations with the Methodist New Connexion 
Church. In 1874, the Wesley an Church in Canada united 
with the Wesleyan Conference of Eastern British America 
and the Canadian Conference of the Methodist New Con- 
nexion Church. The united body took the name of " The 
Methodise Church of Canada." Fifty years had elapsed 
since the organization of the Canadian Conference, then con- 
sisting of thirty-one travelling and five superannuated 
ministers, with a membership of tf, 150, and a church pro- 
perty comprising twenty-one small, wooden places of wor- 
ship. In those five decades the Church had exchanged 
weakness for strength, poverty for wealth, the plain meet- 
ing-house for the costly temple. The roll of ministers had 
increased to 718; the membership to 76,455; the churches 
had increased to upwards of 1,800; and the value of the 
church property from a few thousand dollars to $3,300,000 — 

Ujp:r and Loiver Canada. 93 

a record of achi vement which is scarcely surpassed in Chris- 
tian annals; apndse and a joy to Him whose the Church is, 
even the only wise God our Saviour, to whom be glory and 
majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. 

NoT~.— Care has been taken to have every item in this condensed 
history, extending through more than three-quarters of a century, as 
correct as possible, and so the writer has sought the best available 
sources of information. Besides Conference minutes and newspaper 
files, the following works have been consulted : Cornish's "Cyclopaedia of 
Methodism," Playter's "History of Methodism," Carroll's "Case and 
His Cotemporaries," Eyerson's " Canadian Methodism," Webster's 
"History of the Methodist Episcopal Church," Bangs', Stevens' and 
McTyeire's " History of Methodism." Should any mistakes have 
occurred, the author will be thankful to have them pointed out, as he 
has now in hand a "History of Methodism in Canada." 


By the Rsv. William Williams, D.D. 

IT is gratifying to know that no division has ever been 
created in Methodism by controversies in relation to 
Christian doctrine. Under the illuminating and guiding 
influence of the Spirit of God the learned and logical mind 
of John Wesley so accurately interpreted the Holy Scrip- 
tures, so carefully formulated their teachings, and so wisely 
provided for their perpetuation among the " peop^ called 
Methodists," that his followers throughout the world remain 
substantially one in their creed. The fact that questions of 
polity and admini>trrttion have been the only occasions of 
division, has rendered, and will continue to render, the 
organic union of the scattered sections of Methodism not 
only a practicable, but a comparatively easy task. In reach- 
ing the results in this direction that have already been 
secured, the work has been promoted by the tendency of all 
the uniting bodies to adapt themselves to the advancing 
requirements of an enlightened Christian civilization. The 
leadings of Divine Piovidence hive been carefully followed. 
All the sections of Methodism in this country are now united 
in one strong and prosperous organization. Questions that 
at one time were considered of great importance have been 
answered by the l^gic of events, and points of difference 

96 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


that once were prominent have disappeared. It is to V.e 
hoped that what has taken place in Canada may he realized 
in every land, and that the Great Head of the Church will 
"gather together in one the children of God that were 
scattered abroad." 


We must glance for a moment at this community as one 
of the most important of the sources which have supplied 
the stream of our connexional history in Canada Scarcely 
had the venerable "Founder of Methodism" pissed to his 
glorious reward, before the difficulties arose that led to the 
first organized secession from the parent body. In the year 
1797, the Methodist New Connexion was established. We 
need not dwell upon the causes that led to this result, nor 
need we express an opinion as to the expediency of the 
fctruggle. Such movements frequently get beyond the con- 
trol of those who set them in moticfa, their momentum 
carries them farther than it was intended they should go. 
Christian charity does not violate historical fidelity when it 
says that the controversialists on every side of the questions 
at issue were actuated by pure motives and a desire to reach 
the best results. The leading actors in those stirring scenes 
were men of faith and prayer. Whether the results sought 
for might not have been as surely, though more slowly, 
reached by patient waiting, without causing division, is a 
question we need not discuss. The liberal polity that is 
now almost universal in Methodism declares the later wis- 
dom of the many, while it vindicates the earlier and far- 
sighted sagacity of the seceding few. 

The points that led to this division and the establishment 
of the Methodist New Connexion were as follows : — 

Methodist Xciv Connexion Church. 97 

1. "The riu'lit of the people to hold their public religious 
worship at such hours as were most convenient, without 
their beinjr restricted to the mere intervals of the hours 
appointed for service in the Established Church." 

2. ''The right of the people to receive the ordinances of 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper from the hands of their own 
ministers and in their own places of worship." 

3. " The right of the people to a representation in t e 
district meetings and in the Annual Conference, and thereby 
to assist in the government of the community and in the 
appropriation of its funds." 

4. "The light of the Church to have a voice, through its 
local business meetings, in the reception and expulsion of 
members, the choice of local officer.-, aud in the calling of 
candidates for the ministry." 

Our space will not allow us to trace, in detail, the history 
of the Methodist New Connexion in England, nor would it 
comport with the design of this paper. Suffice it to say 
that after it had overcome the difficulties attendant upon 
the formation of a new organization, it prospered to such a 
degree, that in the year 1824 the resources of the growing 
Church were considered sufficiently large to justify the estab- 
lishment of a mission in Ireland. But at a still earlier date 
there was a strong conviction in the Conference that Canada 
should be included in its missionary operations. Mr. 
William Bidgway, a wealthy and influential layman, visited 
this country, and was convinced that it had strong claims 
upon the sympathies of Bi i ish Christians. Shortly after- 
wards, one if the ministers, who had retired from the active 
work, was so fir influenced by his representations as to settle 
in Canada, (hat he might, preach to the people among whom 
\\" came to dr, so far a-, his s rength would permit. In 

OS Centtnnial of Canadian Methodism. 

the year 1832, Mr. J seph Clementson, a local preacher resi- 
dent in Banley, Staffordshire, being in Toronto on business, 
visited some parts of the country, preached to the people, 
and upon his return to England, represented them as being 
in many localities destitute of the ordinances of religion. 
Ahout the same time very urgent and affecting appeals 
reached the Mother Country from the Baptist and Congre- 
gational Colonial Churches. All these things comVtined to 
intensify the conviction in the minds of the home authorities 
that this country was an inviting field for missionary opera- 
tions. Accordingly, the Conference of 1837 " determined to 
open a mission in Canada, and appointed the Rev. John 
Addyman to enter upon this important and arduous under- 
taking." Two \ears later the Rev. Henry O. Crofts was 
sent out to assist him, and shortly afterwards a series of 
circumstances, evidently providential, led to the formation 
of a union be' ween the Methodist New Connexion in 
Canada and another branch of the Methodist family, resem- 
bling them in their polity and administration. This com- 
munity we must now briefly notice. 


The history of the Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Church 
is closely connected with the name of the Rev. Henry Ryan. 
This remarkable man was, according to the most reliable 
authorities, born in Massachusetts, April 22nd, 1775. His 
parents were Irish Roman Catholics. They provided their 
son with the best education the locality in which they 
resided could afford. At the age of sixteen he was converted 
to Cod. Upon his return to his home his father met him 
at the door and refused to admit him, unless he returned at 
once to the faith of his parents. This, the sturdy young 

Methodist New Connexion Church. 99 

convert could not do. He was disowned and turned away. 
Within two years from that time he became a Methodist 
preacher. In the year 1805 he came as a missionary to 
Canada, was appointed to the Bay of Quinte Circuit, and 
had for a colleague the no less distinguished William Case. 
Bishop Hedding, who, when a young man, was also under 
his superintendency for a year, thus describes him : " He 
was in that day a very p ous man, a man of great love for 
the cause of Christ, and great zeal in his work as a minister. 
A man who laboured as if the judgment thunders were to 
follow each sermon." From other sources we learn that he 
was a man of fine appearance, great physical strength, 
dauntless courage, and more than usual decision of character. 
Though impetuous and impatient of control, he had great com- 
mand of himself. These qualities, combined with his won- 
derful faculty of influencing the common mind, eminently 
fitted him to be a leader of men. Such brave and earnest 
spirits were needed in that day. When war broke out 
between Great Britun and the United States, this country 
became the battle-field. The fact that many of the early 
Methodist missionaries were natives of the country with 
which we were at war, and received their appointments 
from a Conference that met in the United States, was taken 
advantage of to injure the work and imperil the workmen. 
Kvcry American missionary was ordered to leave Canada. 
But Henry Ryan, then a presiding elder over the Upper 
Canada District, remained in this country, rallied his men 
around him, carried on the work as best he could, and kept 
the societies from being scattered. The Bev. William Case, 
writing from Albany, N.Y., stated, from information received 
in a letter from Canada, " That Mr. Ryan and others were 
travelling, and doing all they could for God and souls." 

100 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

At the Gene-ee Conference that met July 9th, 1813, " no 
preacher from Canada was present ; but the preachers met 
i "father and made their own arrangements for the work." 
Tie Minutes also say that " no returns were received from 
C inn da of either preachers or members. The state of the 
country prevented the usual movement of preachers, and no 
appointments for Canada were made by the Bishop." 
Canadian Methodism owes much to the intrepid conduct of 
Elder Ryan and his compeers during that trying period. 
13 ut with the return of peace the persecutions to which the 
Methodists were subjected did not cease. The Genesee 
C inference continued its control over the Canadian societies, 
a d the cry of disloyalty was raised more loudly and per- 
si tet.tly against them. Weary of this strife, doubting the 
possibility of silencing these accusations while their relations 
to the Methodism of the United States were so close, and 
despairing of obtaining the right to hold church property 
and celebrate matrimony while under the jurisdiction of a 
foreign religious court, Elder Ryan and others sought for 
s paration and independence. The impetuosity of some 
leading ministers and the undue resistance of others to a 
measure that all felt the value and importance of, compli- 
cated the situation. Personal elements mingled themselves 
with the controversy, and created greater divergencies of 
feeling and action, and the result was the formation of a 
separate and independent organization which was known as 
the Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Church. This event 
took place in the year 1829. As in all similar cases, a large 
number of ministers and members who sympathized with 
the views of the leaders of this movement, declined to follow 
them into a separate community. The polity of the new 
Church was a liberal and equitable one. It provided for 

Methodist Xcw Connexion CJiurch. 101 

lay representation in all of i:s courts; and though the 
organization was not as complete in its arrangements as it 
afterwards became, it did effective work for God, and 
brought prominently before the public mind principles of 
Church government which are now universally recognized 
as equitable and fair. 

The tirst few years of the history of the young community 
were far from encouraging. With connexional machinery 
that required great administrat ve ability to make it effee 
tive, with a large amount of popular prejudice to meet and 
overcome, with material to work with that was as yet crude 
and untried, without adequate funds to meet the emergences 
of the hour and develop the resources that were at hand, 
without parsonages for the preachers, or places of worship 
for the people, the strength and endurance of these pioneers 
in the cause of liberty were severely tried. To increase 
their difficulties, before the little Church had been four years 
in existence, the Rev. Henry Ryan, who had been, humanly 
speaking, the life and soul of the movement, was called to 
his reward. He died in great peace at ( Gainsborough, Upper 
Canada, at the early age of fifty -eight years. His remains 
lie in a little cemetery on the mountain, about three mihs 
to the southeast of the now celebrated Grimsby Camp- 
Ground, where they await the resurrection of the just. 

r lhe difficulties we have indicated, so severely tried tie 
faith and fortitude of the ministers, that some, despairing 
of success, retired from the work, wi ile others found in the 
ministry of sister Chun;' es the support for themselves and 
families which tie y could not find in their own. Others, 
who were compelled by their circumstances to follow secular 
pursuits thr«»u-h the week, tilled their appointments faith- 
fully every Sabbath. But a devoted few pursued their 

102 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


sacred calling with undivided attention and untiring ei.eigy, 
and were rewarded by the success that attended their labours. 
The earliest numerical returns to which wv have access are 
those of 1835. The Church then comprised thirteen circuits, 
upon which there were twenty-one ministers, forty-two 
local preachers, and 2,481 members. In 1841, the member- 
ship, which three years before had sunk to 1,801, r» se to 
1,915. The Minutes of Conference in those early days gave 
no returns of connexional property. The resources of the 
country as well as those of the churches were small and im- 
perfectly developed, but many of the advantages we now 
enjoy had their origin in the fidelity and self-denial of these 
earnest and devoted men of God. 


When the Rev. John Addyman was sent to Canada, by 
the Methodist New Connexion Conference of 1837, he was 
specially instructed to establish a mission in the Western 
Province. Though favourable circumstances led him to 
commence operations in the East, he did not forget the 
terms of his commission, but as soon as possible he began 
his researches in Upper Canada. While there, he met with 
a number of the leading ministers and members of the 
Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Church, and finding that the 
principles and polity of the two bodies closely resembled 
each other, a union between them was proposed. The 
Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Conference, which met in 
Cavan, June 9th, 1840, carefully discussed the whole sub- 
j< ct. An equitable and satisfactory Basis of Union was 
adapted, and sent down to the Quarterly Boards, and also 
laid before the Executive Committee of the Methodist New 

Methodist Xc:i< Connexion Church. 103 

Co ne\ion in England. The address of that Conference to 
the mem In rs of the Church contains the following reference 
to it : — 

"Having in view the prosperity of the Church by estab- 
1'slring our system more permanently, and extending our 
labours more widely, we have, during this session of Confer- 
ence, deliberately considered the proposed union with the 
Methodist New Connexion ; as appears from the foregoing 
resolutions. We discovered, by a critical investigation of 
their principles, and by comparing their Discipline with 
ours, that we need not sacrifice any fundamental principle, 
nor violate any general rule of our Discipline, in order to 
effect an union with them ; inasmuch as the economy of 
their Church is founded on the design of imparting to the 
societies the sacred privileges of the Gospel by granting 
the admissi' n of Jay representation into every department 
of the Church. Under these circumstances we have agreed 
on the terms of union ; leaving it open for your investiga- 
tion, and also for the consideration of the Executive Com- 
mittee ( f the Methodist New Connexion in England." 

The action of all parties concerned was such as to secure 
tie adoption of the following resolution by the Canadian 
Conference of 1841: — 

" The expressed opinion from the Circuits, on the pro- 
i> >-ed union of the Canadian Wesley an Methodist Church 
with the Methodist New Connexion in England being so 
decidedly favourable, and the articles of union being approved 
of by the Conference of i he Methodist New Connexion, 
this Conference unanimously resolves, — That the union 
now be consummated upon the principles laid down in the 
Minutes of Conference for 1840." 

The following is the Basis of Union as finally adopted 
by the uniting bodies : — 

lOi Czntmnial of Canadian Methodism. 

1. " That the local preachers now in the Canadian Wes- 
leyan Methodist Church be entitled to stand in the same 
relation to the united body, and enjoy the same privileges 
they now do in the Canadian Wesleyan Church; and all 
1 cal preachers hereafter received shall submit to the rules, 
and graduate according to the regulations of the Methodist 
New Connexion, and enjoy such privileges as it provides." 

2. " That the forms for sacraments, marriages, and ordi- 
ration of Elders used among the Canadian Wesley ans be 

3. "That the Canadian Wesleyan Methodist Circuit 
preachers be received into the united body according to 
their various standings in that community." 

4. " That for the present the name of the united body be 
the Canadian Wesleyan Methodist New Connexion." 

5. "That twenty pounds per annum (subject to future 
% alteration, as the case may require) be allowed from the 

English Missionary Fund towards the support of a married, 
and twelve pounds per annum towards the support of a 
single, preacher. These sums to form the maximum of 
allowance, and that it be left to the discretion of the 
Superintendent of Missions, with the assistance of the 
Conference, to apportion the grants, with a due regard to 
economy and the necessities of each particular case." 

6. "That a Paternal and Beneficent Fund be established, 
for the encouragement of which the Missionary Society 
agree to grant the sum of thirty pounds annually to each 
Fund, until, in the judgment of the Conference, it shall not 
be longer necessary." 

7. " The Canadian Conference to have the direction of the 
work in Canada, assisted by the representative of the 
Methodist New Connexion in England, as the Superinteii- 

Methodist New Co::::cxion Church. 105 

dent of the Mission, who shall be a member of the Cana- 
dian Conference, ex officio, and corresponding member of 
the Annual Committee. It will be the duty of said repre- 
sentative, or General Superintendent, to see that all engage- 
ments connected with claims on the Mission Fund are 
faithfully performed, and to assist the Conference to carry 
out the benevolent plans contemplated by the union." 

8. " That to ensure, so far as prudential means can 
accomplish the object, a supply of suitable preachers for 
the wants of the united body, the Wesley ville Institution 
be established to afford the means of instruction for a 
limited period. And that in the first instance suitable 
young men, connected with the religious community in 
Canada, be selected, or young men recommended from 
En .-land by the Missionary Committee." 

9. " That the stations of the Methodist New Connexion 
in the eastern part of this Province, formerly called Lower 
Canada, be united with the Canadian Conference." 

10. "As missionary exertions are employed to gather 
precious souls into the Church of Christ, and extend the 
Redeemer's kingdom, so the exertions of the English Meth- 
odist New Connexion Missionary Society will be directed 
to the establishment of an active, prosperous, and perma- 
nent distinct community in Canada; that, as this end is 
attained by the formation of circuits, the introduction of 
the system, and the missionary stations becoming so many 
parts of the body, in that proportion the influence of the 
English Connexion shall cease in its concerns, and the body 
in Canada shall become a distinct religious community, 
united only to the brethren in England in Christian love; 
and in those kind offices which wj)1 always be proper and 


1C6 Centginial of Canadian Methodism. 

The union of 1841 was exceedingly beneficial to the unite 1 
community. It was a fair and honourable arrangement. It 
involved no fundamental changes on either side. Virtually, 
the functions of legislation and administration were exercised 
as freely after the union as before it. The two communi- 
ties had simply united their energies and resources for the" 
more effective prosecution of the work of God. Provision 
was also made to some extent for the children of ministers 
in the active work, by the establishment of the " Paternal 
Fund," which was maintained as long as the Connexion con- 
tinued as a separate organization. The "Beneficent Fund," 
afterwards the " Superannuated Ministers' Fund," provided 
an allowance for worn-out ministers, their widows and 
orphaned children. Great improvements were made in the 
constitution of this Fund by later legislation, and its effi- 
ciency was largely increased. The name of the Church was 
also changed by the Conference of 1864, so as to read, "The 
Methodist New Connexion Church in Canada." Though 
the clause referring to the Wesleyville Institution was not 
carried out in the form originally proposed, a Theological 
Institute was organized; the Rev. William McClure was 
appointed Tutor, and an Educational Board elected to 
co-operate with him. Mr. McClure filled this important 
position with great efficiency till his lamented death, and at 
one time as many as thirty young men, in different stages 
of their probation, were under his instruction and direction. 

Though the union of 1841, by providing for the payment 
of annual grants oE money from the English Missionary 
Fund to the labourers on Canadian missions, and constituting 
the representative of the English Conference Superinten- 
dent of those missions, and ex officio member of the Canadian 
Conference, and corresponding member of its Executive 

Methodist iYcw Connexion Church. 107 

Committee, necessarily brought the Canadian Connexion 
very largely under the influence of the Methodist New Con- 
nexion in England, it expressly provided for the ultimate 
and complete independence of the Canadian Church. The 
terms of union declared, that "the exertions of the English 
Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society will be 
dire ted to the establishment of an active, prosperous, and 
permanent distinct community in Canada; that, as this end 
is attained by the formation of circuits, the introduction of 
the system, and the missionary stations becoming so many 
parts of the body, in that proportion the influence of the 
English Connexion shall cease in its concerns, and the body 
in Canada shall become a distinct religious community, 
united only to the brethren in England in Christian love, and 
in those kind offices Avhich will always be proper and accept- 
able." The student of Canadian church history will see 
that this important clause must have exerted a great influ- 
ence upon the union movement of 1874, inasmuch as it 
provided for the complete emancipation of the Connexion 
from all outside control as soon as it ceased to be a mis- 
sionary church, or became able to sustain its own missions 
fiom Canadian resources. It is ea^y to see that a Church 
that could secure complete control over its own future, by a 
niciv change of financial relations, must be left very largely 
t > its own conclusions as to so important a movement as 
tlmt of union with the Wesley an Methodist Church of 

10S Centemiial of Canadian Methodism. 


In tracing the history of the Connexion from 1841 to 
1874, it may be proper for us to fullow it first along the 
line of its statistics. • 

In 1842, there were in the active work 20 ministers and 
preachers and 2,484 members. The first report of contribu- 
tions to the Mission Fund was made at the Conference of" 
1844, when they amounted to $773.78. 

In 1852, there were 50 ministers and preachers and 4,496 
members ; contributions to the Mission Fund amounted to 

In 1862, the returns included 90 effective ministers and 
preachers and 8,001 members; the contributions to the 
Mission Fund reached the sum of $5,428.44. 

In 1872, there were 117 effective ministers and preachers 
*and 8,312 members ; contributions to the Mission Fund 

At the time of the union of 1874, the estimated value of 
church and parsonage property was $288,340. 

The returns were somewhat unfavourably afft cted during 
the years 1873 and 1874, by the unsettled condition of the 
Connexion during the union agitation, and while the work 
was being rearranged ; but the declension was much less than 
there was reason to expect in connection with a movement 
which, though generally regarded with satisfaction, was not 
acceptable to all. 

In tracing the history of the Methodist New Connexion 
in Canada along the line of its transactions, many interest- 
ing and suggestive facts present themselves. At the Con- 
ference of 1843, a union was formed with the Protectant 
Methodists of Eastern Canada — a community whose mem- 

Methodist Neiv Connexion Church. 109 

bersliip numbered 550. This accession, with a total numeri- 
cal increase for the year of 1,576, greatly cheered the 
Church, and was justly regarded "as a special indication of 
the smile of Providence upon the union, and as a pledge of 
future prosperity." All the preliminary arrangements 
relating to this union had been completed at Bolton, in 
Eastern Canada, on May 5th of that year, and a delegate 
was duly appointed to represent them at the Conference 
which ratified it. At the same Conference, the Missionary 
Society of the Canadian Connexion was organized, and 
arrangements were made for the holding of missionary 
services at all the principal appointments. The results of 
these services, as reported to the following Conference, were 
very encouraging, and this society grew through the suc- 
ceeding years of the history of the Connexion, until in one 
year the contributions reached nearly $9,000. The Confer- 
ence of 1843 sent the Rev. James Jackson as a deputation 
to the missionary meetings of the English Connexion. He 
travelled during the year throughout the length and breadth 
of that field, and such were the results of his soul-stirring 
addresses that the missionary revenue was increased fully 

The Conference of 1844 was marked by arrangements 
which resulted in the publication of a Connexional organ, 
called the Christian Messenger. One of the resolutions con- 
cerning it was, " That all political discussions and contro- 
versial matter be excluded from its pages," and another, 
"That every minister on probation write an original article 
for the Messenger at least every six months," a rule which 
must have aided the intellectual development of the proba- 
tioi ers and given freshness at least to the mental make-up 
of the paper. 

110 Centennial of Canadian MetJiodism. 

The Conference of 1845 was called to part with the Rev. 
John Addyman, who, during the previous eight years, had 
done valuable work in the country. His devoted piety and 
amiable disposition, joined with great administrative ability, 
had made his presence in the councils and services of the 
Connexion a benediction. He had taken- a leading part in 
forming the union of 1841, and had from the time of the 
completion of that arrangement represented the English 
Conference in Canada. His return to England, which the 
exigencies of the work in that country required, was much 
regretted; but an able successor, the Rev. Henry O. Crofts, 
was appointed in his stead, and the work moved on. The 
Rev. William McClure was sent into the Canadian work, 
with the title of Assistant Superintendent of Missions, and 
from that time aided the brethren with his wise counsels 
and impressive public utterances. 

*• It was not until the year 1849 that the Canadian work 
was divided into districts, chairmen appointed, and their 
functions and powers defined. The Toronto, Hamilton, 
London, Cavan, Johnstown, and Canada East Districts were 
formed. It was decided that the Chairmen of Districts 
should be ministers in full connexion, who should reside 
within the bounds of their respective districts, and should 
be chosen annually by the Stationing Committee"; that they 
should hold two District Meetings in the year, which should 
consist of an equal number of ministers and laymen, inquire 
into and report upon the state of the work, give advice in 
case of difficulties and aid in adjusting them should they be 
referred to them, and otherwise stimulate to effort, and pro- 
mote the spirituality of the membership. They were not to 
preside at the Quarterly Meetings within the bounds of their 
districts, except those of the circuit or station to which they 

Methodist New Connexion Church. Ill 

were appointed, unless by special request of the society and 
with the concurrence of the superintendent preacher, nor 
were they allowed to receive any remuneration for their 
services as chairmen. 

The Conference of 1851 was marked by the return to 
England of the Rev. H. 0. Crofts, who for twelve years had 
been closely connected with the work in Canada. He had 
actively promoted the union of the two bodies in 1840 and 
J 841; the Conference had called him to the presidential 
chair four times, he had fulfilled the duties of the general 
superintendency with great zeal, energy and success ; his 
pulpit ministrations were of such a high order as to draw 
large congregations, and his executive abilities were such as 
to mee: without failure all the demands made upon them. 
His portly form, sonorous voice, ready quotations of scrip- 
ture — for he was almost a living concordance — his kindly 
imperiousness of manner, and his ready, racy wit, made his 
presence in any locality something to be remembered. He 
soon reached a commanding position in the Connexion in 
England, after his return, and used his experiences of Cana- 
dian life with great effect in his missionary efforts A pub- 
lished volume of his sermons remains as a memorial of his 
ministerial life in London, Canada West. 

The Rev. II. O. Crofts was succeeded in the general 
superintendency by the Rev. J. H. R -binson, who, by the 
direction of the Methodist New Connexion Conference in 
England, removed from Sheffield to Canada. He was one 
of the most able and popular ministers of the English Con- 
nexion. He had been appointed to some of their best sta- 
tions, including Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Halifax,Chester,Liver- 
pool and Sheffield. He filled the office of Superintendent of 
iMi.sbions in this country with great ability and acceptance 

112 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

during a period of fifteen year?, and was elected four times 
to fill the presidential chair. As the previous connexional 
organ had become defunct, he established the Evangelical 
Witness in 1854, of which he remained the editor till 1870. 
No man ever did more to make the Canadian Connexion 
a success than he did. He managed its finances with mas- 
terly skill. The Evangelical Witness in his hands was an 
instrument of intellectual and moral power. His ready wit, 
massive facts, and skill in using every passing incident for 
the p omotion of his purpose, gave him great ascendency in 
the Conference and throughout the Connexion. His ser- 
mons were inspirations, and he was never more at home in 
preaching than when among his brethren in the ministry. 

In 1870, Mr. Robinson was elected by the English Con- 
ference editor of the Methodist New Connexion Magazine, 
and manager of their publishing interests, a position 
which he successfully filled during four years, and in 
1872 he was, by the votes of his brethren, made the 
President of the Conference in England. In 1874 
lie was again appointed to Canada. He accepted the- 
appointment under the impression that a very large minor- 
ity of the ministers and members of the Canadian Con- 
nexion would decline to enter into the proposed union, and 
that it was his duty to co-operate with the Superintendent 
of Missions, the Rev. John Medicraft, in caring for that 
minority. He >-oon saw that the struggle against the union 
movement was a hopeless one, and so represented it to the 
authorities in England. He had been so long and intimately 
associated with tin Connexion in Canada that as soon as 
he had permission from the English Conference to do so he 
entered into the union and became a member of the London 
Conference, in which relation he still n mains. 

Methodist New Connexion Church. 113 

A short time after the close of the Conference of 1851, 
the Rev. James Jackson passed to his rewai d, aged sixty- 
one years. He had been closely associated with the Rev. 
Henry Ryan in the organization of the Canadian Wesleyan 
Methodist Church, and was in 1835 elected President of the, 
Conference. He also filled the presidential chair of the 
Conference at which the union with the Methodist New 
Connexion was consummated, and again in 1848. He 
v sited the English Connexion as a missionary deputation in 
1843. In 184G he became a supernumerary, and continued 
in that relation till his death, which took place at his resi- 
dence, in the county of Norfolk, July 6th, 1851. The 
" Minute" adopted by the Conference said of him, "Deeply 
imbued with love to God and love to immortal souls, James 
Jackson well sustained the character of a Chrisstun mis- 

From the earliest period of its history the Methodist 
New Connexion took a decided stand in opposition to all 
grants from the State to any of the institutions of the 
church. This policy was adheied to as rigidly by the Cana- 
dian Conference as by their English brethren. In 1850 a 
resolution was adopted, appointing a committee to prepare 
a petition for both Houses of the Legislature, to be signed 
by the President and Secretary of the Conference, opposing 
any grants from the State for church purposes, and in favor 
of the secularization of the Clergy Reserves. 

On the same subject, the Canadian Conference of 1854 
adopted the following resolution : — 

" That thp question of the Clergy Reserves being still unset- 
tled, and the occasion of protracted controversy in the Pro- 
vince, and there being much misapprehension throughout 
the entire community as to the position of several of th« 
Clirihtun Churches on the mi ter, this Conference avails 

114 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

itself of the opportunity of expressing its decided disappro- 
bation of any division of these funds among the religious 
bodies ; on the contrary, it desires an absolute and entire 

This position was reaffirmed in two resolutions passed by 

the Conference of 1863 : — 

"That we, as a Conference, cannot but deplore the recent 
act of our late Government in extending the privileges give n 
to Roman Catholics in the Separate School Bill, thus giving 
encouragement to the encroachments of Catholicism and 
aiding denominations in securing sectarian college endow- 

"That this Conference views with alarm and grief the 
persistent efforts of several religious sects respectively par- 
ticipants in the late Clergy Reserve in Canada West, to per- 
vert the funds of Toronto University from their origim.l 
mid legitimate to a sectarian purpose, and by dividing its 
endowment, to restrict its usefulness in imparting university 
advantages to the youths of Canada ; and moreover, by 
transferring immunities now a common blessing to rival 
sects, the advantages are sought to be conferred upon 
certain separate communities, which belong to the public. 
We therefore pledge ourselves in every legitimate way to 
oppose such an act of spoliation upon this institution, which 
we rega d as the honour of our Province and the bulwark of 
is educational institutions." 

The convictions of the ministers and members of the 
Methodist New Connexion upon this subject were as deep 
and strong as they were upon the prohibition of the liquor 
traffic, slavery, the Sabbath, and other related questions of 
public interest, upon which resolutions of an unmistakable 
character were repeatedly placed on record in the Minutes 
of Conference. 

In 1866, the period arrived when the Rev. J. H. Robin- 
son felt it to be his duty to retire from the SuperintenJency 

Methodist New Connexion Church. 115 

of Missions, after fifteen years of service in that capacity. 
He continued, however, to serve the Connexion as Editor, 
Book Steward and Treasurer for four years longer, when he 
was recalled to England. The Rev. William Cocker, D.D., 
became the General Superintendent, and fulfilled the duties 
of that office with general acceptance through a term of feix 
years. His position as representative of the English Con- 
ference during the progress of the union movement, was an 
extremely embarrassing one, but he performed his important 
duties with fidelity and ability. He was twice elected to 
the chair of the Canadian Conference, and was, for a short 
time, Editor of the Evangelica' Witness. 

The Conference of 1871, was called upon to mourn tl e 
death of the Re* 7 . William McClure. He was born in Ire- 
land, in 1803. His father, the Rev. John McClure, was the 
first minister of the Methodist New Connexion in Ireland. 
William was the oldest of five children, and at the age of 
fourteen was left without father or mother. Through some 
very severe experiences, he reached the years of manhood. 
One day, as he sat by the sea-siJe reading his Bible, the 
truth was brought home to his heart, and he went on 
his way a rejoicing Christian. After exercising his gifts in 
the class-meetings, pra\er-meetingsand other social services, 
he was led into the ministry in 1830. For seventeen years 
he did good work as a pastor and preacher of the Gospel in 
his native land. He was then appointed to Canada as 
Assistant Superintendent of Missions, being left, however, 
available for circuit work. He was at three separate times 
appointed to Toronto. Montreal, London and Hamilton 
also enjoyed his hervi* es. He was President of Conference 
in 1849, 1855 and 1858; Secretary of Conference in 1853, 
aud was Theological Tutor from 1860 to 1870. He was 

116 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

also a member of the Senate of Toronto University. His 
death was sudden. Retiring to rest, on the evening of 
February 17th, he complained of headache ; the next morn- 
ing he was found unconscious, and on Sunday evening, Feb- 
ruary 19th, 1871, he passed away. His rich and ripe 
scholarship, his large fund of apt illustrations, his wide and 
varied experience, his meek and quiet, yet earnestly devout, 
spirit, made him popular as a preacher and endeared him 
to his friends. No minister of the Canadian Connexion 
\*as so widely known outside of his own community. His 
death, especially at that critical juncture, was felt to be a 
great Connexional loss. His biography, by the Rev. David 
Savage, is a comprehensive and beautiful presentation of 
his life and character. 

The Conference of 1872 was made peculiarly interesting 
and impressive by the presence of the Rev. William Cooke, 
D.D., of the English Methodist New Connexion Conference, 
who was on a visit to this country. The following resolu- 
tion, which was adopted with great heartiness, expressed 
the feeling of the Conference in relation to him — a feeling 
which was rendered more intense by his well-known sym- 
pathy with the union movement then in progress : — 

"That this Conference has learned with much pleasure 
of the arrival in this country of the Rev. Dr. William 
Cooke — a name honoured not alone in the records of the 
denomination of which he has been for so many years a 
faithful and devoted minister, but whose loftv Christian 
spirit, gifts of intellect, and reputation in circles of religious 
literature are so universally acknowledged. It is resolved, 
that Dr. Cooke be invited to visit our Conference ; and 
whilst we understand that the hurried circumstances of his 
departure for this country have precluded the opportunity 
of an official commendation of our distinguished guest from 
the authorities of the Methodist New Connexion in England, 

Methodist Xciu Connexion Church. 117 

we none the less gladly and heartily welcome Dr. Cooke 
amongst us, luoking for the benefit of any counsel and 
co-operation he may feel it consistent with the time he has 
at his disposal, and the objects of his visit to Canada, to 
place at our service. That the Rev. Dr. Cooke be resj ect- 
fullv invited to conduct divine worship in this church, in 
connection with the Conference services, on Sabbath morn- 
ing next." 

The same Conference bade farewell to the Rev. "W. 
Cocker, D.D., who returned to England. The Rev. John 
Medicraft was his successor in office, and came to this 
country in consequence of representations having been 
made in England to the effect that a very large minority, 
if not a majority, of the ministers and members of the 
Canadian Connexion would not consent to the contemplated 
union, and would require as a continued separate body, the 
care and aid of the English Conference. He soon saw that 
those representations were incorrect, and that the struggle 
against the union was a hopeless one; accordingly he returned 
to England in 1S74. He remained in Canada, however, 
long enough to win for himself personally the esteem and 
atlection of his brethren in the ministry, who, though they 
could not aid him in carrying into effect the purpose he 
came to accomplish, respected his fidelity to the interests he 
represented, and the commission with which he had been 
entrusted. In the meantime the Rev. David Savage had 
l»'eii appointed Editor of the Evanyelical Witness, fulfilling 
the duties of position with great acceptability until 
that publication was merged in the Christian Guardian. 

The Rev. S. B Cundy, who had been called to the Presi- 
dential chair at the Conference of 1873, died on the 12th 
of November, in the same year. In the "notice" of his 
death, adopted by the Conference, it was well said, "that 

118 Cajannal of Canadian ]\let!ioJism. 

never was that high position filled with greater dignity, 
urbanity and ability. During his ministry he was appointed 
to some of our best circuits and stations, and everywhere 
inspired confidence, admiration and love. He was a clear, 
forcible, often eloquent, preacher of the Gospel, a wise and 
loving pastor, and a faithful and prudent administrator. 
His death was a singularly happy and triumphant one." 


As the "union movement" in its general aspects and 
relations will be fully and exhaustively treated in another 
article, we need only trace the action of the Methodist New 
Connexion in relation to that movement, so far as it 
culminated in the union of 1874. The history of the 
Con ex"on in Canada is the history of a succession of 
unions. The amalgamation of the Canadian "Wesleyan 
Methodists with the Methodist New Connexion, which took 
place in 1841, was followed, in 1843, by a union of the 
Protestant Methodists of Eastern Canada with the united 
body, thus completing an arrangement wi ich united in one 
organized Church three communities which had been rivals 
and competitors. These facts indicate the disposition of 
this Church toward union. As earlv as 1863, the Rev. J. 
H. Robinson, in an editorial, in relation to a general union 
among the Methodists, said, " If we cannot at once, or 
soon, unite, let us each work as we are doing for awhile, 
and under the same name and British relations, having as 
now our Annual Conferences, and establish a General Con- 
ference to be held every four years. The first of these 
General Conferences would be one for neutral brotherly 
intercourse, and interchange of sentiment rather than for 
any legislation. We should thus become better acquaint d. 

Methodist Xcw Connexion Church. 1 1 9 

Christian hearts are ever sympathetic, and sympathy would 
ripen into brotherly love and attachment, and facilitate our 
ultimate amalgamation." With almost prophetic foresight 
the results were thus anticipated that were reached eleven 
years later. This was the first of many of the same kind. 
In the Methodist New Connexion Magazine of January, 
1870, the Rev. Samuel Hulme closed a noble article, in 
which he reviewed the action of both the English and 
Canadian Connexions on the subject of union, in the fol- 
lowing words : " Under this view we deem the steps taken 
by the Methodist New Connexion, with a view to heal the 
breaches of Methodism, as honourable to its intelligence and 
Christian principles. Our resolutions and proceedings in 
reference to Methodist union will be cited in years to come, 
as the first definite movement toward a policy of healing 
and conciliation." 

From year to year the Conference continued to record 
resolutions favourable to union among the Methodist bodies 
in Canada, and appoint committees composed of the leaning 
ministers and laymen of the Connexion, to meet committees 
so appointed by the other Methodist Churches; but for a 
length of time no practical results followed. In February 
and March, 1871, however, important conferences between 
these committees took place, in the Mechanics' Institute 
Buildings, Toronto, which led to the adoption of a series of 
general recommendations, setting forth the desirability of 
union, and recommending a basis that included a General 
Conference consisting of ministerial and lay repp sentatives 
in equal numbers; Annual Conferences, composed of minis- 
ters only; District Meetings, in which laymen should be 
present, except during the examination of ministers' char- 
acters, etc. In these meetings no one betrayed his denomi- 

120 Cent:nnial of Canadian Methodism. 

nation, no one was recreant to his principles, but the desire 
for union was general. The spirit of the meetings was 
candid, cordial and generous. The recommendations were 
referred to the several Conferences, and elicited a variety 
of responses. The position taken by the Methodist New 
Connexion Conference was one of general approval, as 
expressed in the second of the five resolutions adopted on 
the subject : " That this Conference accepts, in the main, 
the Basis of Union proposed, as moderate and fair to all 
branches of the Methodist Church, as it recognizes the 
representative position of the laity in the legislative courts 
of the Church." But in the third resolution it was "recom- 
mended to the joint committee that may be hereafter 
appointed by this and other Conferences, that the latter 
clause of resolution sixth of the proposed scheme be so 
altered as to make no distinction in the class of business to 
be taken up by District Meetings, composed, as laid down, 
of equal numbers of ministers and laymen." 

But as time went on, the negotiations were continued only 
between the Wesleyan Methodists on the one hand and the 
Methodist New Connexion on the other ; the negotiations 
between the former body and the Conference of Eastern 
British America having for their object a rearrangement of 
the work in the same denomination, rather than a union of 
churches which were not already one people. The report, 
substautially embodying the terms of union, was brought 
before the Conferences concerned, as " The Report of the 
Union Committees appnnted respectively by the Wesleyan 
Methodist Conference and the Methodist Ne v Connexion 
Conference of Canada, agreed to at the several meetings of 
said Committees held in the Metropolitan Church, Toronto, 
on the 1st and 2nd days of October, 1872; on the 30th and 

Methodist Nezv Connexion Church. 121 

31 -t days of January, 1873; and on the 9th and 10th of 
April, 1873." Though the representatives of the other 
Methodist bodies were invited to meet at the same time, the 
two Churches mentioned were the only onei whose commit- 
tees met. The Basis of Union, as prepared and submitted to 
the Conferences of the negotiating bodies, was that which, 
with a few important modifications — the principal one substi- 
tuting the election of a President of the General Conference 
for the appointment of " General Superintendents, one or 
more," rendering it still more acceptable to the Methodist 
New Connexion — was finally adopted by all the contracting 
communities. The Methodist New Connexion Conference, 
that met at Dunnville on June 4th, 1873, after a debate of 
four days, adopted unanimously the following resolutions on 
the subject as brought before them in the report : — 

"Whereas a committee of thirteen in number was appointed 
by the Hespeler Conference, to confer with committees ap- 
pointed by the Wesleyan or other Methodist Churches, and 
said committee having reported to the Conference that they 
conferred with a large committee of the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church, the result of which was the adoption of the report 
which has been laid before this Conference : Resolved, that 
the said report be adopted, subject to the sanction of a 
nwjority of our November Quarterly Meetings, and that 
this Conference appoints a deputation of one or more, to be 
hereafter named, to proceed to England for the purpose of 
laying a full statement of the whole matter before the Con- 
ference of that body, and that the report of such deputation, 
with the decision of the Quarterly Meetings, be laid before 
our next Conference." 

The next Conference was called by the Executive to meet 
on May 20th, 1874, when, the reports from the Quarterly 

122 Gentennial of Canadian Methodism, 

Meetings having been received, the following resoluti 
were adopted : — 

"Whereas a majority of the Quarterly Meetings h 
adopted the basis of the proposed union submitted by 
last Conference : Resolved, that this Conference her 
ratifies and adopts the said Basis of Union, provided % 
our interpretation of the twenty-third clause in the Basi 
Union be approved by the Wesley an Conference, viz.: l i 
act of the General Conference affecting the rights and pr 
leges of the Annual Conferences shall become law c 
when it secures a majority of two-thirds of the member 
the General Conference who may be present and vote there 
provided also that such act be not disapproved of t 
majority of the next ensuing Annual Conferences. A 
that a respectful statement, by deputation or otherwise 
the whole case be submitted to the English Conferea 
soliciting their approval of our action ; also, that a depi 
tion be appointed to the next Weslej an Conference, soliefl 
their approval of our interpretation of the said twenty tl 

" That this Conference appoints a committee consist 
of the President, Revs. J. Caswell and W. Tindall, \ 
Bro. A. Ferguson, to draft a memorial, submitting the re< 
action of the Canadian Conference on i he subject of unio 
the consideration of the English Conference, and to re<& 
their acquiescence therewith." 1 

"That the Rev. W. Williams and R. Wilkes, M.I\ 
appointed as a deputation to attend the next sessi n of 
English Conference, for the purposes prescribed in the||| 
of the Committee on the State of the Connexion, etc." 
. "That the Reputation to the next Conference of 
Wesleyan Church in Hamilton be Revs. J. McAlister, 
Tindall and G. Buggin, and Bro T. Mitchell." 

Methodist Xcio Connexion Church. 121 

The Conference having adjourned to give time for the 
deputations to visit the Conferences to which they were 
appointed, met again at Milton, August 12th, 1874. Im- 
mediately after the Conference was organized, the deputation 
appointed to attend the English Conference presented their 
report, which was followed by the report of the deputation 
to the Wesleyan Conference, held at Hamilton, Ont. The 
resolutions of the Methodist New Connexion Conference, 
held at Hanley, Staffordshire, England, were as follows : — 

1. "That having received from the Rev. John Medicraft, 
General Superintendent of our Canadian Mission, and the 
lu-v. J. K. Robinson, the deputation to our late Conference, 
held at Milton on the 20th of May, a )eport of the pro- 
ceedings of the said Conference on the projected union of 
our Mission with the Wesleyan Methodist Church of 
Canada, and having heard from the Rev. W. Williams, and 
11. Wilkes, M.R, the deputation from our Church in Canada, 
an exposition of the modifications which the Methodist 
Xew Connexion and Wesleyan Methodist Conferences have 
made in the twenty-third article of the Basis of Union ; it 
js resohed that this Conference sees no reason to alter the 
judgment already pronounced on the Basis of Union, as the 
modifications made herein do not remove the main grounds 
of our objections to it as set forth in the resolutions of our 
last Conference." 

-. "That inasmuch as a large majority of the Quarterly 
Meetings in Canada have accepted the Basis of. Union, and 
as their deliverances have been ratified and adopted by our 
Canadian C nferenee, which now asks our formal consent 
thereto, this Conference, in view of these facts, deems it 
undesirable further to oppose the union, and should the 
Canadian Conference, adjourned to the call of the President 

124 Qentennial of Canadian Methodism. 

for the final consideration of this question, after receiving 
our resolutions, resolve to consummate the union on the 
terms proposed, this Conference accepts such decision, in the 
hope that the proposed union will be overruled by the 
Great Head of the Church to the establishment and exten- 
sion of liberal Methodism in the Dominion of Canada, and 
to the advancement of the principles and blessings of the 
kingdom of Christ in the world." 

We cannot close this record in better terms than those 
expressed in the report of the committee on the above 
resolutions, which was unanimously adopted by the Con- 
ference : 

" That this Conference has listened with much satisfaction 
to the statements made by our deputation to the English 
Methodist New Connexion Conference, respecting the spirit 
in which that honoured body has met the overtures which, 
during our sessions of May last, we commissioned these 
brethren to submit. We hereby put on record our sense oi 
the faithfulness with which our deputation have fulfilled 
the delicate and important trust we placed in their hands. 
We rejoice also to know that our brethren in England have 
found it consistent with their views of what is due to them- 
selves to accept the action of the Canadian Connexion on 
the question of the union of our denomination with that oi 
the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canada, as that action 
is found embodied in the expressions of our Quarterly 
Boards, as also of our Conference at its recent sessions." 

"We would also recognize the overruling of a wi:-e and 
gracious Providence in conducting the complicated negotia- 
tions through which we have been led from year to year tc 
a consummation thus satisfactorily reached. This Confer- 

Methodist New Connexion Church. 125 

ence, howevfr, cannot allow the close and cordial relations 
that have subsisted for so many years between the parent 
Methodist New Connexion in England and ourselves to 
come to a close without expressing our profound sense of 
indebtedness to our brethren there for the large and unin- 
terrupted liberality which has distinguished their policy 
towards the Canadian Mission, and trust that in the frater- 
nal relations to be continued in the future, we may have 
frequent opportunities of intercourse as pleasant and mutu- 
ally profitable as in the past. We would also most fervently 
pray that the guiding and sustaining presence of our com- 
mon Father and Gnd may be vouchsafed to His servants in 
the prosecution of their entire work at home and abroad. 
Further, be it 

" Resolved, that as this Conference at its former session, 
held in Milton on May 23rd, 1874, did agree to adopt the 
Basis of Union on condition that the Wesleyan Methodist 
Conference of Canada, the Wesleyan Conference of Eastern 
British America, and the Methodist New Connexion Con- 
ference of England would accept our declaration of union, 
with the interpretation of clause twenty-three in the basis 
then agreed to ; and whereas these conditions have since 
been fulfilled by all the contracting parties, this Conference 
hereby declares its final acceptance of the terms of union 
between the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Canada and 
the Methodist New Connexion Church of Canada; all 
nece sary legal provisions to be determined by the General 
Conference of the United Wesleyan Methodist Church of 

So ends the history of the Methodist New Connexion in 
Canada, as a distinct organization. Communities may dis- 

1 26 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

appear and men may pass away, but principles never die. 
So the great principle of lay representation lives in the 
Methodism of Canada, and the Methodism of the world ; 
and men are learning that in the Church, as well as the 
State, all righteous government is " of the people, by the 
people, and for the people." 



By the Rev. E. H. Dewart, D.D. 

THE Methodist Church of Canada is the name by which 
the chief Methodist body of this couutry was known 
from the union which took place in 1874 to the last union 
in 1883. This body was constituted by a union of the 
Wesley an Methodist Church of Canada, the We^leyan 
Metholist Church of Eastern British America, and the 
New Connexion Methodist Church of Canada. 

Before proceeding to outline the history of the Church 
during the period assigned to me, it may be expedient to 
review the circumstances that led to this union. The first 
sign of a desire for union was probably the appointment of 
committees on union by the Conferences of the different 
Methodist Churches. Probably the first outspoken advocacy 
of a gtiieral union was in an editorial which I wrote for the 
M'tho'Iist Iiivonlrr, a daily paper issued during the Con- 
ference of 1S70, which was held in Toronto. In this article, 
\vl)i,-h also appeared in the Guardian, after a general review 
ot the tendencies toward union, it was said, " Under these 
circumstances is it not high time that Canadian Methodism 
was taking steps to present an unbroken front to the enemy 1 ? 
'1 here are, doubtless, hindrances and difficulties in the way of 
Mich a union, but if they are ever to be overcome the sooner 

128 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

they are looked in the face the better. The main practical 
difficulties will be found in determining what portion of the 
distinctive peculiarities of each body is to be incorporated 
in the united Methodism of the future." What may be 
regarded as the first practical steps towards organic union 
was the meeting of a few representatives of different 
Methodist bodies at the house of the Editor of the Guardian, 
in the fall of 1870. The late Mr. Robert Wilkes, the late 
Mr. Robert Walker, the Rev. David Savage, the R^v. 
William Rowe and Mr. William Beattie were present. 
Two results followed from this informal meeting : it was 
agreed to hold a grand union tea-meeting in Toronto on the 
31st January following. This meeting was largely attended, 
and addresses were delivered on Methodist topics by repre- 
sentatives of the Wesleyan, Methodist Episcopal, Primitive, 
New Connexion and Bible Christian bodies. Though union 
was not formally discussed, yet the meeting gave an impulse 
to the union spirit. Somewhat similar meetings were after- 
wards held in different parts of the country. Another 
result, which told more practically towards the promotion of 
union, was an agreement to secure an early meeting of the 
union committees of the different Methodist Churches. 

From this time forward the subject of union was more or 
less discussed in the Methodist papers, sometimes adversely 
by individuals, but on the whole the discussion gave evidence 
of a growing union sentiment. Some rather sharp passages- 
at-arms took place between the opponents and the advocates 
of union. The Guardian stood firmly for organic union of 
all Canadian Methodists, on the basis of equal lay and min- 
isterial representation in the General Conference. The 
ittitude and spirit of the Guardian may be seen from the 
following, in the issue of February 22nd, 1S71 : "If our 

The Methodist Church of Canada. 120 

brethren of the other Methodist Churches cannot agree with 
us in a basis for a general union, we shall ve y much regret 
this • hut we trust we shall know how to respect the honest 
convictions of those who differ from us. We concede to our 
brethren of other Churches the same sincerity ar d purity of 
motive, in regard to their movements, that we claim for our- 
selves. If the movement for union fails, we 1 elieve ihe 
failure will not arise from any indisposition on the part of 
the Wealeyans to consider, in a frank and conciliatory spirit, 
the wishes of our brethren of the other Churches, with 
regard to the proposed united Church. Those who are 
against union have as good a right to their opinions as 
those who are in favour of it, but they must be willing to 
bear the responsibility of that opposition before the Meth- 
odist public." 

In the latter part of the March following, a meeting of the 
different union committees was held in the Mechanics' 
Iustitute, Toronto, to discuss terms of union. Some of the 
older Wesleyan representatives considered the lay represen- 
tation already possessed by their Church on the different 
Conference committees as being something betfer than lay 
representation in the Conference. The representatives of 
the other bodies were strongly for some large measure of 
lay delegation, as were also the younger Wesleyans. The 
basis agreed upon by these joint committees was submitted 
to the next Wesleyan Conference without any formal report 
from the Wesleyan Committee. The principle of union was 
unanimously adopted. The introduction of lay representa- 
tion evoked some difference of opinion. An amendment 
was finally passed, which recommended th it the question of 
lay representation in the General Conference be subm tted 
to the Quarterly Meetings for their decision, before any 
* i ther action be taken on the matter by the Conference. 

130 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

At the Wesleyan Conference, held in Montreal in 1872, 
the report from the Quarterly Meetings was submitted to 
the Conference, and was strongly in favour of union. It 
was remarkable that there was no anxiety for lay delegation 
in the Conference shown by the laity. The veto power of 
the Quarterly Meeting on the legislation of the Annual 
Conference was regarded by many as more important than 
lay representation in the General Conference. The majority 
in favour of lay delegation, on the ground of its being neces- 
sary to the union, was larger than the vote simply on the 
merits of the question. The report was also considered, and 
favourably received by the New Connexion Conference. 

During the following year there were frequent meetings 
of the committees of the Wesleyan and New Connexion 
Churches, at which Dr. Punshon presided. Dr. Punshon 
was not at first enthusiastic for a union involving lay dele- 
gation ; but as the movement made progress he took a more 
active part, and rendered good service in the committee 
meetings. The Methodist Episcopal, Primitive Methodist, 
and Bible Christian Churches had withdrawn from the 
movement, apparently not being yet ripe for practical action 
in that direction. After some modifications, the basis pre- 
pared by the committees of the Wesleyan and New 
Connexion bodies was formally adopted by the Wesleyan 
Conference, which met in London in 1873, and by the New 
Connexion Conference, which met in Dunnville at the same 
time. The Rev. President Nelles and the Rev. E. H. 
Dewart were appointed delegates to the English Wesleyan 
Conference, which met in Newcastle-on-Tyne that year, to 
secure the harmonious dissolution of the union that had 
previously existed between the Wesleyans in Canada and in 
England. No difficulty was experienced in arranging this 

The Methodist CJiurch of Canada. 131 

matter, as the Canadian Church had taken more advanced 
around in favour of lay representation than the English 
Wesleyans at that time were ready to approve. By dis- 
solving the union, the English Wesleyan Conference escaped 
all the responsibility of endorsing the terms of the Canadian 
union. The relationship to British Methodism strongly 
resembled that of Canada to England. 

Previous to this, a joint meeting of the Eastern and 
Western Wesleyans had been held in the citj r of Montreal, and 
terms of union agreed upon. These terms did not embrace lay 
delegation. It was one of the tasks of the Wesleyan and 
New Connexion Conferences of 1873 to harmonize the two 
Bases of Union. The union wi h the New Connexion body 
and that with the Eastern Methodists were, in the nature of 
things, different. The New Connexion and the Wesleyans 
all through the Western Provinces became thoroughly 
amalgamated as one body, with all former distinctions 
al>CM!-hed ; but the Wesleyan Methodists of Eastern Canada, 
though united for purposes of legislation and general admin- 
istration, owing to their geographical position, remained 
practically as they were before union, in carrying out their 
local Church work. At the Wesleyan and New Connexion 
Conferences of 1 S 7 4 , Kie final arrangements for the formal 
amalgamation of these two bodies were made, and delegates 
elected to the first General Conference, which was to meet 
in Toronto in September, 1874. At the close of the session 
of the Wesleyan Conference in the city of Hamilton, the 
Conference divided into local Conferences, as provided by 
tin- Basis of Union, and the different Annual Conferences 
met and organized. 

The meeting of the first General Conference of the united 
bodies, in the Metropolitan Church, Toronto, Sep' ember lGth, 

132 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

1874, was an event of great interest, because it was a prac- 
tical example of the union of two important Methodist 
Churches which had for many years occupied the sarn^ 
field. Not less interest attached to the fact that this 
was the first time in the history of Methodism on this 
continent, where the la'ty were accorded equal repre- 
sentation in the chief court of any large Methodist Church. 
This great result was accomplished without strife or agita- 
tion, the ministers having taken the leading part in pro- 
moting the measure. The constitution then adopted and 
brought into actual operation is substantially the basis of 
our present constitution. 

The election of the venerable Dr. Ryerson to the Presi- 
dency was a graceful compliment to one who had done 
valued battle for Methodism and liberty in the early part of 
his life, and whose more recent labours in the cause of 
national education had been successful in establishing a 
system of schools and colleges that will cause him to be 
remembered through all coming time as the benefactor of his 
country. Other men of renown who took part in this his- 
toric Conference, but have since passed away from earth, 
were Dr. Enoch Wood, Dr. Anson Green, Asahel Hurlburt, 
Dr. Samuel Rose, Dr. H. Pickard, Dr. John McMurray, 
Dr. John A. Williams, Dr. S. D. Rice, and President 
Nelles. Among the prominent laymen who have since 
joined the Church above were John Macdonald, James 
Gooderham, L. A. Wilmot, Robert Wilkes, and others. 

A good deal of the time of the Conference was taken up 
with the adjustment of matters of order and discipline for 
the future government of the Church. All the points 
agreed upon in the Basis of Union were reaffirmed and incor- 
porated into the Discipline of the Church. While the laymen 

The Methodist Church of Cci7iada. 133 

had equal representation in the General Conference, the 
Annual Conferences were composed of ministers alone. 
The reason of this was that it was then assumed that the 
General Conference would embrace nearly all the busine-s 
of the Church in which the laity would feel a strong 
interest. The business assigned to the Annual Conference 
was mainly a review of the pastoral work of each year, 
with such arrangements and adjustments as the continuation 
of the work rendered necessary. If the laymen, since being 
admitted to the Annual Conference, have sometimes com- 
plained that there was little for laymen to do, this arose 
from the fact that the sphere of the Annual Conference was 
largely limited to ministerial matters. Provision was made 
by the appointment of a Transfer Committee for the trans- 
fer of ministers from one Conference to another, as the 
exigencies of the work might demand. A lively debate 
t<i>k place in regard to the name of the Church. In the 
I!;ims of Cnion the name agreed upon was The United Wes- 
h-yan Methodist Church. However, in order to facilitate 
further union, on motion of the Rev. Dr. Douglas, the name 
was changed to The Methodist Church of Canada. It was 
supposed that this name would be unobjectionable to the 
other Methodist bodies who had not yet come into the union. 
Although as soon as the first steps were taken towards union 
there had been souk; sharp discussion in the newspapers 
b'tween the friends and opponents of union, yet both the 
Methodist Kpiseopal Church and the Primitive Methodists 
wen- represented by deputations at this General Conference. 
Another subject that awakened more than ordinary inter- 
est, was the publication of a new Hymn-Book for the Church. 
K"r two reasons it was desirable that such a book should be 
published : first, the copyright of the English Wesley an 

134 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Hymn-Book, which had been used by the Wesley ans in 
Canada, had legally expired ; and secondly, it was desirable 
that the Canadian Church should have the profit on the 
salt-s of the hymn-book used among its people. On the part 
of the elder men, there was a strongly conservative feeling, 
leading them to cling to the old book as John Wesley left 
it, or at least with nothing more than a supplement to the 
original book of Mr. Wesley. On the part of others, it 
was maintained that it was the duty of the Church to pro- 
vide the people with the best possible collection of hymns 
adapted for public and social worship. After considerable 
discussion, a motion was carried appointing a committee to 
procure the materials for a future hymn-book. This could 
hardly be regarded as a victory for either party in the dis- 

A strong expression was placed on record by the Confer- 
ence on the subject of temperance and prohibition. Our 
Methodist Church has never given any uncertain sound on 
that qupstion. A public tea meeting was held, as a kind of 
celebration of the accomplishment of the union, at which 
addresses appropriate to the occasion were given. The pre- 
sence of several distinguished delegates from other Methodist 
bodies added much to the interest of this Conference. The 
Rev. Bishop Peck, of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
the United States ; the Rev. Gervase Smith, of the English 
Wesleyan Church, the warm personal friend of Dr. Punshon ; 
and the Rev. Thomas B. Sargent, of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church South, were all warmly welcomed by the Canadian 
brothers. Their sermons on the Sabbath, and their add* esses 
at the public meeting, awakened great interest and deepened 
the conviction that Methodism was one all over the world. 
The Rev. Dr. Ryerson and Rev. D. Savage were appointed 

The Methodist Church of Canada. 135 

representatives to the English Methodist Conferences ; Rev. 
John A. Williams and Mr. John Macdonald to the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of the United States, and the Rev. 
Dr. Douglas to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The 
lvev. A. Sutherland was appointed Missionary Secretary. 

After making full provision for the practical exigencies 
of the work arising out of the union of bodies occupying the 
same ground, the Conference broke up with a feeling of 
deep gratitude to God that such delightful harmony had 
marked all its proceedings. 

The closing words of the President, Dr. Ryerson, were 
specially impressive. He said : " Re was thankful to the 
Conference, and thankful to the Giver of all good that he 
had been spared to see this year. He rejoiced in the con- 
summation of the union, so that now the influence of their 
t U'neral Conference extended from ocean to ocean. As he 
was bordering on threescore years and ten, and would soon 
have completed the fiftieth year of his ministry, he could 
not expect to be spared much longer, but he assured the 
C inference that to his latest hour he would not forget the 
kindness which had been exercised towards him by his 
brethren with whom he had been so long associated. He 
loved his country and he loved his Church, and though he 
entild not claim exemption from common infirmities of 
mankind, yet he had e\er endeavouied in all things to aim 
at the glory of God and the welfare of the Church, with 
which he had always regarded it as the highest honour of 
his life to be associated." These words were a fitting close 
to that historic Conference. 

I think it is Lord Maeaulay who says that the time of 
a country's greatest prosperity is the time of least historic 
interest. This is certainly true with regard to Church 

136 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

history. Periods when no striking event happens, and no 
great controversy stirs the community, may be times of 
great spiritual progress ; and yet there may be nothing 
very remarkable to record. The progress of the Church 
depends upon the growth of individual life. If we could 
follow the history of each individual soul and tell the story 
of its enlightenment, struggles and victories, it would be 
of special interest \ but we cannot do this, and must be 
satisfied, therefore, with general remarks on the results of 
the progress of the Church as a whole. During the years 
following the union of 1874 the churches made steady and 
general progress. The state of things on most circuits 
during this period was fully represented by a sentence in a 
letter to the Guardian from an aged minister. He said : 
" From every quarter comes intelligence of a marked suc- 
cess resulting from the consummation of Methodist union. 
Already in many places has great spiritual benefit resulted, 
and in many others missionary meetings have been held 
with greatly increased collections and subscriptions." 

In 1875, the Toronto Conference met in the town of 
Picton — this was historic Methodist ground ; here was 
held, in 1824, the first Hallowell Conference, when the 
Canadian work was first organized into a separate Confer- 
ence, having been previously connected with the Methodism 
of the United States. The only minister present at this 
Conference of 1875 who was also present at the Confer- 
ence of 1824 was the venerable Anson Green, D.D., who 
was taken out of the itinerant work at the Conference of 
1824, as was also John B ack, Solomon Waldron, R. 
Corson, and J. Messmore. The only person living in 1875 
who had been a member of the Conference of 1824 was 
the Rev. John Byerson. Dr. Green informed me at that 

The Methodist Church of Canada. 137 

reference that he had not met any one connected with 
(lie Church in Picton who belonged to it in 1824. The 
Picton Conference of 1832 was also remarkable for the 
inauguration of a movement for a union with the British 
Conference, and the completion of the plan for the estab- 
lishment of Upper Canada Academy at Cobourg. 

During the period that elapsed between the General 
Conference of 1874 and that of 1878 several prominent 
ministers passed away. Among these were the Rev. John 
Sunday, who was so long and widely known as a distin- 
guished Indian Missionary. He visited all parts of Canada, 
and also England, in the interests of his people. He was 
converted under the ministry of the Rev. Peter Jones. 
The Minutes of the Toronto Conference of 1876 says of 
him : " As a preacher in Indian he greatly excelled ; 
always effective, often eloquent, he sometimes rose to the 
grandeur of sublimity in thought and speech. His influ- 
ence on the Indian mind was powerful and extraordinary ; 
many souls were converted to God through his instru- 
mentality who will brighten his crown of rejoicing in that 

Another name that Canadian Methodists " will not wil- 
lingly let die " is that of the Rev. George M. McDougall, 
the celebrated missionary pioneer in the North- West. He 
was a man of great force of character, and full consecration 
to his work. His whole life was spent in the missionary 
tield, for which he had great natural adaptation. His visits 
from the North -West to the Province of Ontario, and other 
parts of the work, always awakened great interest. His 
influence in dealing with the Government, on behalf of the 
Indians, was influential and salutary. The manner of his 
u-ath was particularly affecting. He missed his way in a 

133 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

blinding snow-storm, and some days afterwards was found 
calmly sleeping the sleep of death, in the snow drifts of that 
land that had been hallowed by his toil and blessed by his 
prayers. The Rev. John McDougall is a worthy successor 
of his heroic father. 

Charles Freshman, D.D., was another remarkable fruit 
of Methodism who passed away from earth in 1875. He 
was of the stock of Israel, brought up in his youth in the 
Jewish religion, and bad prepared himself for the position 
of a Rabbi. Coming, in 1855, to Canada, through the 
study of a German Bible he was convinced that Jesus of 
Nazareth is the true Messiah. By the ministry of the Rev. 
James Elliot, then at Quebec, the way of God was ex- 
pounded unto him more perfectly. He was soon after 
received into the ministry of the Church. He afterwards 
published a couple of volumes, one an autobiography, and 
the other a work on the customs of the Jews, a subject 
on which he was well qualified to write. His son, the Rev. 
Jacob Freshman, is successfully prosecuting a mission to 
Israelites in New York. 

An event of interest during this period was the meeting 
in the city of Quebec of the committee on the compilation 
of a hymn-book; Dr. Ryerson was in the chair. The work 
to which the committee at that time confined their attention 
was to decide what hymns in the old Wesleyan book should 
be omitted, and what changes should be made in those that 
were retained. The President was decidedly opposed to 
any alteration in the part of the book that had been com- 
piled by Mr. Wesley himself, but as nearly all the members 
of the committee were of a contrary opinion to the chair- 
man, that part of the work was completed before the com- 
mittee closed its sessions. 

The Methodist Church of Canada. ]:]'.) 

Several tilings of general interest to the Church took place 
during the quadiennium. The publication of a connexional 
magazine had been left in the hands of the Book Committee. 
The Methodist Magazine was estab'ished, at first under the 
editorial management of the editors of the Guardian, but, 
after the Evangelical Witness was discontinued, at the 
annual meeting of the Book Committee the Rev. David 
Savage became assistant editor of the Guardian, taking: 
Dr. With row's place, and Dr. Withrow became responsible 
< ditor of the Magazine, a position for which he has shown 
remarkable fitness from then til the prfsent time. He 
h s also had charge of the Sunday-school periodicals for 
the same period. 

The organization of a Theological Union in connection with 
Victoria College led to the formation of Annual Conference 
brancli unions, which has largely promoted the study of 
theology among our younger ministers. Expensive revivals 
throughout all the Conferences are reported in the columns 
of the Guardian during this period. 

At the London Conference of 1877, the Rev. Dr. Ryerson 
was requested to prepare and publish a volume of essays, 
recalling the historic facts of early Canadian Methidism. 
This work was completed and published under the title of 
"The Story of My Life." At the Toronto Conference of 
1878, an event of great interest was the reception of five 
native Japanese candidates for the work in Japan. It was 
only a few years since our first missionaries, Dr. Cochran 
and Dr. Macdonald, had gone out there, and already, through 
their faithful labours, God had raised up men who were con- 
secrating their lives to the work of preaching to their coun- 
trymen the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

The next General Conference was held in the city of 
Montreal, in September, 1878. The Rev. George Douglas, 

140 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

LL.D., was elected President. A review of the previous 
four years gave gratifying evidences of spiritual and mate- 
rial progress. The total number of ministers repor ed was 
1,165, thus showing an increase in the quadrennium of 134, 
although 47 had died during the same period. The mem- 
bership had increased from 101,946 to 122,605, showing an 
increase of 20,659. In the Sunday-schools there was also 
a gratifying increase — 221 additional schools, 2,474 increas-e 
in teachers, and 19,754 increase in scholars — as compared 
with the returns in 1874. All the funds of the Church 
reported a large increase. 

The two great debates of this Conference were on the 
new hymn-book and the class-meeting question. The 
Hymn-book Committee presented their report of what had 
been done. They had left out a considerable number of 
the hymns in the old collection, which had not been found 
so suitable for use in the congregations. They recom- 
mended tlut a completely new hymn-book be prepared, in 
which old and new hymns should be arranged under their 
proper headings. The discussion turned on the question 
whether this method should be carried out, or whether Mr. 
Wesley's hymn-book should be retained, with a new supple- 
ment, in the manner that the English Wesleyans had 
adopted. The result was that the compilation of a complete 
new hymn-book was recommitted by the Conference to the 
same committee. Ex-Governor Wilmot having died, Dr. 
David Allison was added to the committee in his place. 

Mr. Wilmot was a man of great natural gifts. He was 
at one time Governor of New Brunswick, and occupied other 
important public offices ; but he retained his position as 
Superintendent of the Fredericton Sunday-school while 
Governor of the Province. He was held in high esteem by 

The Methodist Church of Canada. 141 

the ministers and laity of the Church in the Maritime 

The debate on the class-meeting question was able and 
protracted. Some of the members maintained that it was 
not right to make attendance at cla^s a test of membership, 
because nothing should be made a condition of membership 
that was not laid down in the New Testament as a condi- 
tion of Christian life. On the other hand, it was argued 
that any change in the Discipline that would make the 
obligation to attend the class-meeting less binding, would 
have the effect of causing this means of grace to be ltss 
generally attended by the people. Though the feeling was 
strong for some modification of the existing rule, no decisive 
result was reached. The decision was virtually postponed, 
with the understanding that larger liberty should be given 
to Superintendents of Circuits in dealing with particular 
cases of non-attendance. 

The interest of this Conference was grratly enhanced by 
the presence of several distinguished visitors from sister 
Churches. The chief of these were the Rev. S. Coley, of 
the English Wf sleyan Conference; the Rev. Dr. Upham, of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United Stages; the 
Rev. Dr. Kelly, of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 
The public services of these brethren were highly acceptable 
and edifying. During the meeting of this Conference a 
general election was held, the result of which was the defeat 
of the Mackenzie Government, and the return of Sir John 
A. Macdonald to power. The political excitement, though 
not unfelt by the Conference, did not prevent it pursuing 
the even tenor of its way to the close. The only important 
change in the General Conference officers was the elec'ion 
of Rev. William Briggs as Book Steward, in the place of 

142 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Rev. Dr. Rose, who had been Book Steward from 1866 
to 1S78. 

The period between 1878 and 1882 was not marked by 
any extraordinary events, but was a time , of steady pro- 
gress in all the departments of church work. The year 
following the General Conference a movement was inau- 
gurated for the payment of a large debt that had accrued 
in connection with the Mis.-ionary Society, and for the 
general extension of the work. ' A letter from the Presi- 
dent, Dr. Douglas, placed the whole matter before the 
Church. A deputation visited each of the Annual Confer- 
ences to press upon them the claims of this movement. 
There was a hearty and general response, which not only 
cleared off the mission debt, but supplied resources for other 
connexional interests. 

The case of the Oka Indians attracted a good deal of 
attention ; large grants of land had originally been made 
by the King of France to the Seminary of St. Sulpice for 
the care and education of the Indians. A large number of 
the Indians having left the Church of Rome and united 
with the Methodist Church, caused the authorities of the 
Seminary to take up an attitude of opposition and to deny 
the claims of the Indians to the land. There is no doubt 
that the land was originally given in trust to the Seminary 
for the benefit of the Indians, but the Indians could not 
claim a right to the estates in fee simple. This matter has 
never been settled yet. The powerful influence of the 
Seminary of St. Sulpice, as representing the Roman Catholic 
Church in Lower Canada, has given them a great advantage 
over the Protestant Indians in all the phases of this contro- 
versy. Some of the Indians have removed and formed a 
settlement in Muskoka, but a large number still remain at 

The MctJiodist Church of Canada. 14-> 

Oka, and claim their ri r ht to a share in the inheritance 
which was possessed and enjoy el by their fathers. Several 
of the pastoral addresses issued by the Annual Conferences 
during this period gives special prominence to the necessity 
of guarding against a tendency to indulge in worldly 
amu-ements. Yet tl e Guardian for each of these years 
reports extensive revivals of religion, which furnish prac- 
tical evidence that there was no falling off in earnest 
evangelical work. There is also frequent reference in 
these addresses to the, necessity of putting forth greater 
efforts for the religious education of the young, and in 
general pastoral supervision. This has led to a greater 
interest in Sabbath-school work, and in the production of 
Sabbath school literature. There can be no doubt, while 
there should be no abatement in practical aggressive 
work, the conditions of the pivsent times demand wise and 
earnest efforts to save the young from the evils to which 
they are exposed, and to train them for successful Christian 

The committee appointed to complete and publish the 
new Hymn-book, after holding several meetings in sub- 
sections, met in the town of Cobourg, in September, 1879, 
and completed the general work of compilation. The book 
was received with general satisfaction, and has vindicated 
in practical use the taste and judgment of its compilers. 

The organization of the Salvation Army in England, 
being in some respects a revival of primitive Methodist 
evangelism gave an impulse to evangelistic work in Canada 
as well as in other places. The publishing business, as 
represented by the Toronto Book Room, was also largely 

A deputation was sent in 1880 to the Methodist Epis- 

344 Centennial cf Canadian Methodism. 

copal General Conference at Cincinnati, to confer with 
the English and American Methodists, respecting the 
holding of an Ecumenical Methodist Conference in London, 
England. This was appointed for 1881. All branches 
of Canadian Methodism were duly represented at this 
great gathering. There is good reason to believe that the 
meeting of these representatives on the other side of the 
Atlantic drew them closer together, and helped to promote 
a desire for the organic union of all branches of Canadian 
Methodism. This result did not so much follow from any- 
thing that was said or done at the London Conference, as 
from the association and Christian intercourse that ttok 
place during their stay in London. 

The establishment of the Woman's Missionary Society 
has been followed by important results ; not only has it 
afforded a sphere of Chrisiian work for the women of 
Methodism, it has developed sympathy and liberality 
towards the missionary work in a degree beyond what could 
have been anticipated. 

In the period intervening between the General Conference 
of 1878 and that of 1882 some of the most prominent men 
in Canadian Methodism were called home. The first of 
these was Dr. Anson Green, who had occupied most of the 
high official positions in the gift of his Church. He had 
tak<-n a leading part in arranging most of the changes and 
unions of former times, and continued up to the last to 
show strong attachment to the Church and a deep persona) 
interest in everything that affected its welfare. Lachlin 
Taylor was another of these standard-bearers. Few men 
were more widely known from one end of Canada to 
another. For many years he was agent of the Upper 
Canada Bible Society, and did much to draw the representa- 

The MctJiodist Church of Canada. 145 

fives of different Churches closer together on the common 
Uible platform. If Dr. Rverson was the apostle to < anada 
of civil and lel'gious liberty and intellectual culture, Dr. 
Taylor was the apostle of grand. Christian liberty and 
frarprnal union. He was for several years connected with 
the missionary departments of our work, and his appeals on 
behalf of that enterprise called forth the enlarged liberality 
of our people. He had a soul full of noble enthusiasm 
for all grand work, and of sympathy for all who were 
struggling, and with a magnetic power he communicated 
that enthusiasm and sympathy to the vast multitude, 
and led them forward to do and dare for God and 
humanity. The name of Egerton Ryerson is still more 
widely known. He died on the 15th February, 1882. 
In the da)S of the old Family Compact he rendered 
patriotic service by his ab'e vindication of the equal rights 
of all Churches. His work as Chief Superintendent of 
Education for thirty-two } ears has given him a high place 
among the historic men of Canada. He brought to the 
duties of this office broad intelligence and a rare executive 
ability, which have for all time stamped his name and 
influence on the educational system of his country. He 
was the leader and instrument of a great educational 
reform ; he was, indeed, a man of war from his youth up, 
but the latter years of his life were eminently peaceful. 
He had outlived the bitterness of former times, and in a 
serene and honoured old age, possessed in a high degree the 
respect and good feeling of men of all churches and parties. 
F»ut we have always thought that he never did any better 
work than in his early battles for religious liberty and 

'lhe General Conference met in Hamilton in September, 

]-13 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

1882. The Rev. Dr. Rice was elected President, the Rev. 
Dr. J. A. Williams being wi'hin a few votes of him. A 1 
the departments of ihe work were reviewed. The member- 
ship had increased about 3,000 during the Quadrenniuni, 
and the different funds reported a corresponding advance. 
The Educational Society had rendered important assistance 
to all our Church colleges. The chief debate of the Con- 
ference took place on a proposal to enlarge the power and 
authority of the Pres dent of the General Conference ; but 
no material change was made. A question of the right of 
the Annual Conferences to decide when General Confer- 
fence legislation affected their rights and privileges, was 
discussed at considerable length. A Court of Appeal was 
constituted, to which the power of deciding all such 
questions was committed. The idea of union was so promi- 
nently in the thought of the Conference that very little in 
the way of legislative changes was effected. The question 
of a general organic union was fully discussed. A com- 
mittee on union, appointed by the Conference, held repeated 
conferences with the committees of the other Meth - 
dist Churches, and considerable progress was made 
towards a general union of all Canadian Methodists. A 
lar^e committee was appointed to meet the repress ntative-s 
of the Methodist Episcopal, Primitive Methodist and Bible 
Christian Churches, to formulate a basis of union. 

The presence and services of Bishop McTyeire, of the 
Methodist Episc pal Church South, and of Rev. Dr. 
Studley, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, added very 
much to the interest of the Conference. Dr. Rice was 
appointed representative to English Methodism ; Rev. W. 
B iggs to the General Conference of the Methodist Epi - 
copal Church South, and Dr. Williams and Mr. John Mac- 

The MctJiodist Church of Canada. 1-7 

donald to the General C^nlerence of the M .-thodi^t 
Episcopal Church. 

This brief review of the events of the period from 1874 
to 1883 has been sketched amidst great pressure of other 
work. Neither the limited space which was available for 
these jottings, nor the time at the disposal of the writer, 
permitted the production of anything like a connected his- 
tory of the period. Methodism in the Maritime Provinces 
formed an important part of the Methodist Church of Can- 
ada. In common with the western work, its progress was 
manifested during these years by a steady increase in the 
membership, as well as by increased liberality in contribu- 
ting to the fund.s of the Church. The educational institu- 
tions — Victor a and Mount Allison Universities, as well as 
the colleges for the education of young ladies — rendered val- 
uable service to the Church by giving a sound education to 
our young people of both sexes, which qualified them to fill 
positions of tru-t and usefulnes-, and k pt them abreast 
with the intelligence of the tini ■ s. The liberality of the 
people enabled the Church to extend its missionary opera- 
tions in Japan and other places. A large number of 
elegant and commodious churches were erected, keeping 
pace with the growing wealth and culture of the people. 
Thus the practical success of the union of the Wesley an and 
New Connexion bodies, largely silenced objectors, and pre- 
pared the way for the more comprehensive union that was 
successfully carried into effect in 1883. 



By the Rev. S. G. Stone, D.D. 

THAT it is believed to be the child of Providence, is 
not among the least of those impulses to which 
Methodism has always and everywhere owed the devotion 
of those moral heroes, who, in all periods of its history, 
have gone forth into known or unknown regions, preach- 
ing its soul-saving doctrines, with as little doubt of success 
as they have had of their own being. They have not only 
felt the inspiration common to all who have intelligently, 
and with a due sense of their responsibility, consecrated 
themselves to the promulgation of the Gospel, but they 
have believed with intense conviction that God had raised 
up and sent forth this special form of evangelism for 
the purpose, not only of saving men directly through its 
instrumentality, but also for the quickening of other 
agencies engaged in the same work. Whatever their views 
of the doctrine of foreordination in its Calvinistic sense, 
they have, at all events, had as little doubt of success in 
their mission of evangelism as they would have had 
if they had received their allotted fields of labour directly 
from the hands of God. 

It was not without reason that they had this confidence. 
The very existence of the Methodist Church, as such, was 

150 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

of God. Certainly neither Mr. Wesley nor those who 
were associated with him ever contemplated the establish- 
ment of a separate communion until it was providentially 
laid upon him. Even in the American colonies, where the- 
circumstances of the Methodist societies were such as to 
almost imperatively demand distinct organization, his 
scruples against it prevented such organization until the 
absolute des'itution of the sacraments forbade further 
delay. Thus, whether with or without organization, Meth- 
odism has arisen to meet a demand which no other agency 
was adapted to supply. Always the child of Providence, 
borne onward and outward upon her mission of love, in a 
very large degree, to the masses who otherwise were not 
reached at all, or, if reached, by a cold formalism in which 
they saw little of hope, and less of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
The same divine superintendence is not wanting in the 
introduction of organized Methodism into Canada, toward 
the celebration of the Centennial of which this volume is 
contributed. In the year of 1789-90, the Rev. Freeborn 
Garretson sent W illiam Losee, with David Kendall as his 
colleague, to pioneer what was called the Lake Champlain 
Circuit — a portion of the State of New York — which, 
either by reason of the sparseness of its settlements, or 
because it was settled, where settled at all, by people 
already attached to another communion, presented no 
adequate inducements to their continuance of the mission 
they had undertaken. Their journeys had, however, 
brought them in sight of Canada, whither their feet had 
doubtless been led by that Providence which sees beyond 
the plans of men, and, in January, 1790, Mr. Losee, who 
had relations in Canada, and who, it is supposed, received^ a 
roving commission from his presiding' Elder, crossed tli<3 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. lol 

St. Lawrence, probably near St. Regis, preached at various 
places as he journeyed westward, sought out his friends in 
Adolphustown, began preaching among them, "and thus 
became, so far as the regular ministry is concerned, the 
apostle of Methodism in Upper Canada." 

If, however, the epoch of organized Methodism in our 
country, it was not the epoch of Methodism itself. As 
• arly as 1774, the Heck family, and others associated with 
them, seeing the approaching outburst of the American 
revolution, and being ardently attached to British institu- 
tions, emigrated to Canada — first to a part of Lower 
Canada, near Montreal, and, subsequently, to Augusta, 
where, in 1778, without the superintendence of a preacher 
or other ecclesiastical authority, they organized .a class 
composed of Paul and Barbara Heck, of sainted memory, 
their three sous, John, Jacob and Samuel, John and 
Catharine Lawrence (the widow of Philip Embury), 
Samuel Embury and others. The home of Mr. Lawrence 
became their place of worship, and Samuel Embury was 
appointed leader. This little band, in the midst of a 
wilderness often echoing to the whoop of warlike tribes 
hastening to join in the conflict which raged over the 
American colonies, kept alive that religious zeal for which 
their leaders had been so distinguished, and did what they 
could for the promotion of godliness for years before it 
was possible to send missionaries to their aid. In 1780, 
a local preacher, by the name of Tuffy— a commissary of 
a British regiment in Quebec — seeing the religious destitu- 
tion around him, embraced such opportunities as he had 
for preaching the Gospel during a period of three years, 
and leaving as the fruit of his zeal not a few who were 
subsequently among the first to o^en their homes for reli- 

152 Cc§tenn:al of Canadian Methodism. 

gious services. To him is accorded the honour of being the 
first Methodist preacher in Canada. 

In 1786, George Neal, who had been major of a British 
cavalry regiment, in Georgia, but who had retired from the 
service during the war, crossed the Niagara river, and 
immediately began to preach to the destitute people he 
found in that vicinity, commencing his labours at Queens- 
ton, where he was much encouraged by a Mr. Cope, who 
had been a Methodist in the States, and others who were 
in sympathy with his work. At first he was much opposed 
by the officer in command at Queenston, who ordered him 
to desist from preaching, the reason given being that he 
was usurping functions which belonged exclusively to the 
Established Church. Having other views of his privileges, 
Mr. Neal continued to preach, meeting with much success, 
founding societies, and being everywhere esteemed as a man 
of genuine worth and of high religious character. Dr. 
Bangs says of him : " He was a holy man of God, and an 
able minister of the New Testament. His word was blessed 
to the awakening and conversion of many souls, and he 
was always spoken of by the people with great affection 
and veneration as the pioneer of Methodism in that country." 

It will thus be seen that Methodism was first introduced 
into this country, in both the east and west, by men who 
had learned to face danger and difficulty in another sort of 
warfare, fit forerunners of those messengers of the cross 
who, with not less heroic courage, were to carry the standard 
forward. In the meantime (1788) an exhorter by the name 
of Lyons came from the United States and opened a school 
in Adolphustown, and "not neglecting the gift that was in 
him," gathered the people together on Sabbath days in dif- 
ferent parts of the country adjacent to his school, and exhorted 

*.. ^ 

.■k\ •'• ••••..• .:■■■ 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 153 

them to flee from the wrath to come. About the same time, 
James McCarty, an Irishman, who had been converted 
under Whitefield's ministry, came over from the States, and 
reaching Ernestown, found there a number of lay Methodists 
who gladly opened their log cabins to the people who gath- 
ered to hear him preach. His services were instrumental 
111 the conversion of many souls, but this, instead of com- 
mending him to the clergy of the Church of England, ex- 
cited their hostility. 

Under an edict passed by the Legislative Council, " that 
all vagabond characters should be banished from the Pro- 
vince," McCarty was arrested by certain zealots of the 
Church of England, and, after being treated as though he 
were a common felon, was tried and convicted as a vagabond 
— the only cause of complaint being that he was preaching 
the Gospel without the sanction of the Church of England 
— and was sentenced to solitary confinement upon one of 
the Thousand Islands. Four Frenchmen were selected to 
convey him to the place assigned, but they, being more mer- 
ciful than their employers, put him ashore upon the main- 
land, from whence he immediately made his way back to 
Ernestown, to his wife and family. On the following 
Sabbath he again held service in the house of Mr. Robert 
Perry, when he was again arrested, but released on bail, to 
appear in Kingston the next day. He did so, was imme- 
diately placed in the cells, and shortly afterwards sentenced 
to transportation. His family never saw him again; and, 
whether the unsupported testimony of one man that he 
recognized the clothes of a murdered man near Kingston as 
those of Mr. McCarty, be true or not, it is certain he died 
a martyr to that spirit of intolerance which still manifests 
itself in that petty but arrogant exclusiveness so common to 

15 4 Centennial of Canadian J\I ethodism. 

the successors of the cruel ecclesiasticism of former days. 
The death of McCarty was not unavenged. The captain 
most active in the persecution, in an agony of remorse, 
wrote a confession of his crime, and subsequently became 
insane. The engineer closed his career within a few days, 
and another of the band died in less than a month. 

" But though God buries His workmen, He carries on 
His work." Zealous laymen did their best to supply the 
lack of other agencies, and thus kept alive the flame of 
religious life. It will thus be seen that the power of self- 
propagation — the sure evidence of life — had prepared the 
way for organized effort when Losee made his appearance 
in Canada in the winter of 1790. The result of his labours 
during the year was a petition from the people to the 
New York Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
urging that body to send ministers into Canada. The 
petition was cordially received, and Mr. Losee was ordained 
deacon and stationed at Kingston, reaching his circuit in 
February, 1791. On the 20th of the same month he organ- 
ized his first class, another on the following Sunday, and 
yet another on Wednesday, the 2nd of Ma-ch, the day on 
which John Wesley went home to his reward. This was 
the commencement of organized Methodism in Canada. It 
is true that classes had before this been organized both in 
Augusta in the east and Stamford in the west, but such 
organization was one of expediency — a mere banding 
together of Christians, formerly members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, or converted by the instrumentality of 
those who had been connected with that Church in the 
States. They had no ecclesiastical connection with each 
other, nor with the Methodist Church either in England 
or America. No return is made in the Minutes of the 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. l."5 

New York Conference of any members in Canada previous 
to Mr. Losee s appointment to Kingston, for the reason 
stated — no one had been authorized to enrol them. The 
following year there is a return of 165 members for 
Cataraqui Circuit — the name Kingston being dropped — 
this number including the results of the labours of Heck 
and Embury in Augusta, and Lyons and McCarty on the 
shores of the Bay of Quinte. 

At this time Mr. Losee was a young man but twenty- 
seven years of age, an able preacher and full of holy zeal 
for his Master. He threw all his energies into this work, 
to which he seemed in a special and marked manner to 
have been providentially called, and powerful revivals 
followed his labours. As the first representative of a 
Methodist itinerancy in Canada, he laboured most assid- 
uously and zealously for the spread of the Gospel, and, like 
a flaming evangel, preached in demonstration of the Spirit 
and with power. The first Methodist chapel in Canada 
was built in Adolphustown in 1792. In the same month 
a second was begun in Ernestown for the eastern end of 
the circuit, each building being thirty-six feet by thirty, 
two stories high, with galleries — small beginnings, but full 
of promise for the future. Losee returned to Conference 
bearing cheering reports of his year's work. His vast 
circuit was divided into two, and, with Darius Dunham as 
his colleague, he hastened back to his beloved people. The 
new circuit, called Oswegatchie, embraced the country east 
of Kingston, and Cataraqui that to the west, Losee taking 
the former and Dunham the latter. After the return of 
Mr. Losee with his colleague, the first Quarterly Meeting 
held in Canada was convened by Mr. Dunham, he being 

an Elder — the presiding Elder, Mr. Garretson, not being 

156 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

able to visit the country. It was held in Ernestown in a 
barn owned by Mr. Parrott, and was a glad day to those 
who had so long been without the sacraments of the Church 
of their choice. 

What is it that has been lost out of these occasions in 
these later days which gave them such attraction in the 
earlier history of Methodism ? Then, and long afterwards, 
they gathered, not only from the centre, but from the remot- 
est corners of those vast circuits, travelling in many in 
stances with ox-teams over rough roads, or on foot over 
a forest path. Men, women and children gathering on 
Saturday for the afternoon sermon and evening prayer- 
meeting, and remaining over Sunday for its rich and varied 
services. These were times of power, and this first one was 
the prediction of after days. The Holy Spirit fell upon 
the people, and from many lips the prayer for salvation 
went up to God. Many of those who were gathered at this 
service were U. E. Loyalists, who had been Methodists in 
the States, or in the motherland before they emigrated to 
this western world, and to them this was an occasion rich 
in memory of a former experience. It meant, too, that the 
dark past had disappeared, and that they should no longer 
be as sheep without shepherds. It was a glad dawn of the 
successes which followed, through which almost the whole 
country embraced by these circuits has been given to Meth- 
odism. At the close of the year, Mr. Losee returns ninety 
members for his circuit, and Mr. Dunham 259 for his, an 
increase of more than 100 per cent, upon the returns of the 
previous year. 

At the Conference of 1794 Canada was constituted a 
district, with Mr. Dunham as Presiding Elder ; James Cole- 
man and Elijah Woolsey having charge of what were now 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 157 

galled by change of name the Upper and the Lower Cir- 
cuits. Learning of the work of Mr. Neal in the West, Mr. 
Dunham visited that section in the fall of 1794, and was 
received with great gladness by Mr. Neal and those he had 
gathered around him, and great were the rejoicings of the 
people when they were permitted to enjoy the sacraments 
sit the hands of a Methodist minister. The following year 
Mr. Dunham was appointed to Niagara Circuit, and Messrs. 
Coleman and Woolsey returned to their former circuits, 
Mr. Woolsey having as acolleague Sylvanus Keeler. For 
purposes of administration the Canadian work was under 
the superintendence of Rev. John Merrick, Presiding Elder, 
whose district embraced within its bounds all of Canada 
and Philadelphia, with the intervening country. When it 
is remembered that there were no macadamized roads, no 
railroads, few turnpikes, few bridges, little entertainment 
except of the roughest class, it will be seen how much the 
Methodism of our day owes to those heroic men and the 
kindred spirits which succeeded them ; men whose zeal for 
Christ took little thought of personal comfort, the amount 
of salary they should receive, or little else than how they 
could best win men and women to the cross of Christ. 

The returns to the Conference in 1801 gave 1,109 mem- 
bers with Joseph Jewell as Presiding Elder, and Keeler, 
Sawyer, Anson, Herron, and Pickett in the held. In 1S00 
the membership was 1,787, and the eight circuits were 
manned by Samuel Coate, Presiding Elder; Pcarse, Pickett, 
Bishop, Thomas Madde", Robt. Perry, Wm. Case, Henry 
Ryan, Nathan Bangs, Sylvanus Keeler, names honoured in 
Canadian Methodism. In 1808 Samuel Coate was Presid- 
ing Elder of the Lower Canada District, and Joseph Sawyer 
of the Upper Canada. With them, besides most of those 

158 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

named above, were Thomas Whitehead, John Reynolds, 
Cephas Hulburt, and others. In 1810 Joseph Samson and 
Henry Ryan were Presiding Elders, with whom, beside the 
foregoing names, we find Joseph Lockwood, Andrew Prindle, 
Joseph Gatchell, Ninian Holmes, James Mitchell, and 
others. Bishop Asbury, who visited the Canadian work 
that year, writes : " Our prospects are great in those pro- 
vinces, and I must, if possible, extend my labours." The in- 
crease of the year was 572. The war of 1812-15 seriously 
interrupted the progress of the work, reduced the member- 
ship by one half, and deprived the societies of many of their 
preachers, who were largely from the United States. Dur- 
ing that stormy period the dauntless Henry Ryan held the 
ground as best he could, travelling as Presiding Elder from 
Montreal to Sandwich, and having under him David Culp, 
David Youmans, William Brown and Ezra Adams. On 
reorganization, at the close of the war in 1815, and renewed 
recognition of the field by the New York Conference, 
William Case and Henry Ryan were Presiding Elders of 
the Upper and Lower Canada Districts respectively, and 
Culp, Adams, Whitehead, Youmans, Brown, Madden, 
Prindle, Chamberlayne and others were the preachers. In 
1816 the membership was 2,730. The political feelings 
stirred by the war brought in, through their operations in 
Nova Scotia, British missionaries, especially to Quebec and 
Montreal. This excited strife, which the Genera, Confer- 
ence of 1816 failed to allay, but which was largely quieted 
by a compact in 1820. that the British missionaries should 
have the East, and the Methodist Episcopal Church the 
rural sections and the West. In 1824 the Canada work, 
which had previously been first a part of the New York 
Conference, then of the General Conference, was organized 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 15') 

is an Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. In this year (1824) there were in Lower Canada 
Eleven British Wesleyan missionaries and 1,113 members. 
In Upper Canada, embraced in the Canada Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, there were thirty-six 
ministers and 6,150 members. 

The limits of this paper forbid a detailed recital of the 
growth of Canadian Methodism. Thus far we have been 
particular that the readers of these pages may possibly 
discern the hand of God in the planting and growth of the 
Church -whose interests all Methodists should love and do 
their utmost to promote. We must hasten to later periods and 
events preceding which the work had spread over the whole of 
Upper Canada occupied by the white settlers, and among 
various tribes of Indians as well. In 1828, the membership 
had increased to 9,678, there having been added during the 
last year 690 whites and 343 Indians. The work was 
divided into thirty-two circuits and missions, occupied by 
foity-seven travelling and seven superannuated ministers. 
Such was the position of Methodism in Upper Canada in 
the year cited above, when an event occurred which marked 
a new epoch in its history. In 1824, the General Conference 
meeting at Baltimore, Md., at the request of Messrs. 
"Wyatt, Chamberlain and I. B. Smith, the Canadian dele- 
gates, organized the Canada Conference, the territorial 
limits of which were the boundaries of Upper Canada. The, 
causes which led to this were various, but chiefly in view 
of the prejudice which existed in many places against such 
ministers as were citizens of the United St;ites, a prejudice 
largely excited and promoted by the ecclesiastics of the 
Church of England, led by Bishop Strachan, whose 
influence with the Government was very great. 

1G0 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Although outnumbering the communicants of the Church 
of England, the Methodists were harassed by every possible 
method the representatives of that Church could invent, and 
such was the power they exercised over the Family Compact, 
that Methodist ministers were not allowed the right to 
marry, even when the parties were of their own communion. 
Some of them, presuming that by virtue of their ordination 
they had the right to do so, had celebrated the rite of matri- 
mony in certain cases, but the Government refused to admit 
the legality of such marriages; and although in 1823 the 
Legislature passed an Act giving them the necessary 
authority, the council, under the influence above cited, 
threw out the bill. Rev. Joseph Sawyer, though a regularly 
ordained minister, and the Presiding Elder of a district, and 
although there was no law of Canada forbidding his cele- 
brating the rite of matrimony, was so violently assailed for 
doing so that he was obliged to leave the country. Rev. 
Henry Ryan was also sentenced to banishment by a judgf, 
sharing the prejudices of his Church, for a similar offence. 
Rev. Isaac B. Smith, having married a couple on his cir- 
cuit, was prosecuted in the courts ; but after a most able 
defence, conducted by himself, though opposed by the ablest 
legal counsel available to the prosecution, was acquitted by 
the jury to which the case was submitted. In the face of 
certain legal prosecution, and unprepared to bear the 
expense, and unwilling to endure the annoyance which 
were sure to follow, Methodist ministers determined to 
abstain from the assertion of this privilege until they could 
secure protection by the Legislature. The fate of the bill 
introduced for that purpose has been alreadv indicated. 

All this did not, however, prevent their success in the 
jrreat work to which their sanctified energies were devoted. 

MctJiodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 161 

Sew societies were continually being organized, existing 
iocieties increased in strength, and the influence of the 
ienoinination was soon to be too powerful to be resisted by 
rfther the Legislature or the Government. Their opponents 
night embarrass, but could not arrest the rapid spread of 
l&e great work in which they were engaged, and in the 
ibsence of the right of their own ministers to marry them, 
abany, rather than submit to the arrogant assumptions of 
the clergy of the Established Church, made the necessary 
journey of fourteen miles from the residence of a Church of 
England minister to be married by a magistrate. 

Another incident Avhich contributed to the desire for a 
separation from the Mother Church, was the position taken 
by Rev. Henry Ryan, who, during the war of 1812 and 
for some years afterwards, had been practically at the head 
of the Church, and its bold and loyal defender. Others, 
also indignant at the charge of disloyalty made against the 
Methodists, were much influenced to change the relations yet 
sustained toward the Church in the United States. Mr. 
Ryan finally decided to use all his influence in favour of a 
complete separation from that body. It is not necessary 
to assume, as has been done, that personal ambition was at 
all a factor in the case, or that any other motive decided 
liini but a sincere desire to relieve the M thodists of Canada 
from the disadvantage of being suspected of political lean- 
ings towards the United States. This opinion was not at 
that time shared by the great body of the Methodist people, 
who desired only that a Conference should be organized in 
Canada to be under the jurisdiction of the General Confer- 
ence of the Methodist Church. A petition to th'S effect win 
forwarded to that body by the hands of Messrs. Chamber- 
lain and Smith, and after due consid'iation was granted by 

162 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


the General Conference. Accordingly, on the 24th of 
August, 1824, the Canada Conference was duly organized 
under the presidency of Bishops George and Hedding, both 
of whom were present. The Conference numbered but 
thirty-six preachers, including those received on trial, yet 
within this small circle were embraced men of stalwart 
merit, to whom were added at the Conference of 1825, two 
candidates who were destined to occupy the most conspicu- 
ous positions in the future of Canadian Methodism, viz., 
James Richardson and Egerton Ryerson, who were 
stationed together the following year on Yonge Street Cir- 
cuit, Mr. Richardson being in charge. 

Mr. Richardson had been an officer in the navy in 1812, 
losing an arm in the bombardment of Oswego, an engage- 
ment in which he had been conspicuous for his heroism. 
Both were excellent preachers, and each, ealy in its history, 
was editor of the Christian Guar<li an. B jth, also, lived to 
a good old age, and died full of honours — 3V1 r. Ry erson 
placing a nation under tribute to his memory for the invalu- 
able services he performed in laying the foundations of the 
public__£cJioolsystem, which is to-day the pride of our 

The organization of the Canada Conference did not, 
however, satisfy Mr. Ryan, nor did it lessen the hostility of 
Dr. Strachan, who, in a sermon preached upon the death of 
Bishop Mountain, grossly misrepresented the position and 
numerical strength of Methodism in Canada ; and also 
p oceeded to England, where he so grossly libelled the 
ministers of the Methodist Church, that the insinuations 
contained in his letters and statements became a subject 
of inquiry before the Provincial Assembly, the result of 
which was not only a complete vindication of their loyalty; 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 103 

but also a most complimentary admission or declaration 
of the obligations under which they had laid the country 
by the zealous and valuable services they had rendered 
to the cause of religion and public morality, a copy of 
which was forwarded, with an address from the Assembly 
to King George IV., advising against the establishment 
of the Church of England in Canada ; the object for which 
Dr. Strachan was most assiduously, and with such unscru- 
pulousness, working. In view of this continued opposition, 
the defection of Mr. Ryan and others who were endeavour- 
ing to divide the Church upon the question of independence 
and other proposed changes in methods of government, and 
also by reason of the fact that Methodist ministers were not 
authorized by law to celebrate matrimony, nor had the 
Church any such legal status as gave security to its posses- 
sion of the numerous chapels which had been erected, and 
hoping that by securing independence these disabilities 
might the more easily be removed, and also by reason of 
other difficulties which had arisen, it was thought best to 
urge upon the Gener al Confer ence of 182S ihe separation of 
the Canada Conference from the parent body. A memorial 
to that effect having been drawn up four years previously, 
the several Conferences had become familiar with the 
reasons upon which the proposition was based, and there- 
fore it was cordially agreed that, the Cei era] Conference 
being satisfied of the desire on the part of the Methodists of 
Canada to organize themselves into a Methodist Episcopal 
Church, they should have that liberty. Documents to that 
effect were, therefore, prepared and adopted, the separation 
was completed, and at the session of the Canada Conference 
held in Ernestown in the October following, the Methodist 
Episcopal Chu ch in Canada was duly organized, the Rev. 

1G4 Centennial of Canadian JMcthodism. 

William Case being elected General Superintendent pro tem 
It is significant of the important position Methodism hai 
achieved, that even before the separation from the Methc 
dist Episcopal Church was completed, a bill came into effee 
entitling the Methodists in Canada to hold church property 
and it is equally significant of the persistent hostility of th 
Church of England, that in order to secure the right o 
Methodist ministers to celebrate matrimony, they had t 
apply for the royal assent to a bill for that purpose, th 
Provincial Executive, in which Dr. Strachan's influence wa 
paramount, withholding its consent, and using all its influ 
ence asrainst it. 

It was not long after the organization of Methodism ii 
Canada as an independent Church, with the Episcopal forn 
of government, that fresh difficulties arose. The Wesleyai 
^Methodists of England no longer felt that they were boun< 
by the arrangement hitherto existing between them and thi 
Methodist Episcopal Church to abstain from pushing thei 
work into Upper Canada, and without discussing the influ 
ences contributing to such a decision, it was decided by th 
English Conference to station ministers at certain points ii 
this Province, and to otherwise establish themselves there 
in. As a matter of course, it was seen that such a decisioi 
would invol \e a collision between the two bodies, and there 
fore at a meeting of the Missionary Board in 1832, a 
which the Wesleyan missionaries were present by in vita 
tion, a plan of union was proposed which, with some modi 
fication 3 , was accepted by the Conference, meeting ii 
Hallowell, in August of the same year, and ratified by tin 
Conference of the following year, the terms of which con 
stituted a complete change in the polity of the Methodifl 
Episcopal Church — surrendering, as it did, those particu|f| 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 165 

features of church government distinguishing the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church from the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 
and also constituting it a part of the latter body. It will 
serve no good purpose to discuss the methods employed to 
bring about this Union^ nor to imply even that any but the 
most conscientious motives actuated the parties thereto. 
This Union did not take place, however, without protest, 
nor when consummated did it meet with the unanimous 
approval of the whole Church. 

To that system of government under which Methodism 
in Canada had made such rapid strides in the face of the 
most unscrupulous opposition, a very respectable minority 
were so warmly attached that they determined to oppose its 
sacrifice by all proper methods, contending that the disci- 
pline of the Church made no provision for its complete 
destruction, and that the restrictive rules had been violated 
in the method of procedure, and, therefore, they could not 
submit to the said Union. As stated above, it is not neces- 
sary to our present purpose to go over a field of controversy 
in which there may have been wanting at times, at least, 
all that exhibition of Christian charity which might with 
re.ison have been expected, even when they differed so far 
in opinion that they could not coalesce, from parties who 
had for so long worked in such harmony together, and had 
side by side made such achievements for Methodism in 
Canada. Men cannot change their opinions at will, nor be 
forced to such an issue by the weight of numbers ; and, 
theiefore, let it be admitted without controversy that those 
who were determined to continue their allegiance to Episco- 
pal Methodism set about the reorganization, as some say, 
or the maintenance and continuance, as others say, of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church with not less honesty of con- 

166 Ceiftennial of Canadian Methodism. 

viction and singleness of purpose than those who promotec 
the union in which the independence of Canadian Metho 
dism was somewhat lost sight of. 

Possibly if the same prudent methods had been adoptee 
which were observed in the Union of 1883, much trouble 
might have been avoided. At this later Union all tb< 
parties, lay and clerical, were duly consulted, and ever 
after an overwhelming majority in both cases had agreec 
upon the terms of Union, it was decided that the Genera 
Conference convened for that purpose could not legally 
transfer the property of the several contracting partiei 
until the Legislatures had been consulted, before whicl 
as disinterested and impartial bodies any number o 
discontents could appear in their own cause, and that t< 
attempt to consummate the Union before this was don< 
would be to hazard the Union itself. As it was, there was 
doubtless, in 1833 too much precipitancy and too much oi 
the element of coercion, with too little of effort at concilia 
tion. After conventions had been held in several places 
in the Province, it was decided to call a Conference, to bt 
held at Cummer's Church, Yonge Street, now Willowdale 
to meet on the 25th of June, 1834. Doubtless the expecta 
tions of those who had thus decided were disappointec 
when the day arrived. Jf it had been expected that anj 
considerable number of the ministers in the active wori 
would abandon the new order of things, it must have beer 
without sufficient assurance. All, or nearly all, had votec 
for the Union, and therefore, when the date of the Yai^i 
Street Conference arrived, there were present of ordained 
Elders — Joseph Gatchell, David Culp and Daniel Pid&eft 
only, and of Deacons — J. \V. Byam. Rev. John Reynolds, 
also an Elder, and J. H. Huston, Deacon, were not 

Methodist E/iscopal Church in Canada. 107 

but had engaged to take work. There was also a number of 
local preachers present, some of whom had travelled more 
or less extensively, and a number of others who were 
received on trial and appointed to circuits ; the whole num- 
ber present and admitted on trial, including Messrs. Rey- 
nolds and Huston, being eleven, corresponding in number 
and orders very closely to Mr. "Wesley's Conference in 1744, 
in London. 

In the following year, in February, the Conference met 
in Belleville, to which time and place it had adjourned, 
when it was decided to call a General Conference, Rev. 
John Reynolds was appointed General Superintendent 
pro tern, and the General Conference was called to meet at 
what is now called Palermo, on the 10th of June, 1835 ; 
but owing to a misunderstanding on the part of some of 
the preachers as to date, those who had assembled adjourned 
to meet again on the 27th, when, after due deliberation, 
Rev. John Reynolds was elected to the office of General 
Superintendent, and on the following Sabbath was ordained 
by the imposition of hands by the elders present. 

The Annual Conference had met at the same place on the 
25th of the same month, the Minutes of Conference show- 
ing that the Church at this time embraced twenty-one 
preachers in all, and a membership of 1,243. 

The next Conference was held in Belleville, convening on 
the 16th of June, 1JS3G, Bishop Reynolds presiding. The 
year had been one of severe toil to the pastors, but it had 
also been one of great success. The number of ministers 
had increased to twenty-fi>ur, and the membership to 
-,390, a gain of 1,147, or nearly one hundred per cent. 
The work had been carried on under the most trying cir- 
cumstances. Without churches or parsonages, and with a 

168 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

widely scattered membership, it must have been in the 
exercise of heroic zeal that such achievements were made. 
But the blessing of God attended their labours ; kind 'friends 
opened their homes for preaching, and, regardless of the 
difficulties everywhere confronting them, with the most 
limited salaries, they went forth preaching the Gospel, and 
winning souls to the cross of Christ. In the meantime, a 
suit was instituted by the Trustees of the Waterloo Chape] 
to recover possession, the premises having been occupied 
since the Union by the Wesleyans. The case was tried 
in the Court of Queen's Bench, and a decision obtained 
in favour of the plaintiffs, which decision was confirmed 
by the Court of Judges, Judge Robinson alone dissent- 
ing. Soon after, the Trustees of the Belleville Church 
instituted a similar suit, with a like verdict, by the 
jury in their favour. From this decision the defendants 
appealed, and a change having been made in the Court by 
the retirement of one of the judges and the appointment of 
others, the decision was reversed, confirming the Wesleyans 
in their possession of the property. A new suit was also 
granted in the Waterloo Chapel case, and though Judge 
Macauley reaffirmed his opinion that the property by right 
belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church, he felt himself 
obliged to yield to the decision of the higher court, and, 
therefore, the Wesleyans were again put in possession of 
that church also. That much bitterness of feeling pre- 
vailed under such circumstances is not a matter of surprise, 
and that they should involve the mutual recriminations 
which characterized this period of Methodist history in 
Canada, and many years afterward, was, doubtless, also 
deeply regetted by the more devout members of both 
denominations. We will not enlarge upon a subject which 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 1GD 

was as satisfactory to the enemies of Methodism as it was 
injurious to themselves. 

Happily these days have long since passed away, and it 
is hoped their bad consequences, in so far as they affected 
the relations of the two churches, are fully and forever 
obliterated. Sad as they were, they did not dampen the 
zeal or weaken the devotion of the great body of ministers 
who went forth bearing the precious truths of the Gospel 
to the congregations awaiting them, or which they gatheied 
together throughout the land. Though opposed to each 
other, and often in much bitterness of spirit, Christian 
charity, and that veneration their successes and pureness of 
life have won for them, demands the belief that they were 
honest in their convictions, and, therefore, without malice 
in their differences of opinion. On both sides there was 
much to justify the tenaciousness with which each con- 
tended for the righteousness of its cause. On the one 
hand, there was all the force of sentiment which a connec- 
tion with the Wesleyanism of England, with its record of 
grand achievement and its long line of illustrious heroes, 
could inspire. The system of government was also more in 
harmony with the preferences of both ministers and mem- 
bers, and immigrants also, who had been accustomed to the 
views entertained in this regard by the Mother Church in 
England. Doubtless, too, it was a factor of no inconsider- 
able consequence to many who had been accustomed to look 
upon the advantages which the patronage of the State gave 
to the Establishment in England, to tind under the new 
order of things some measure of that patronage dropping 
into their own hands. The grants made by the Government 
gave important facilities to the expansion of missionary 
enterprise, both among the Indians and pioneer settlements, 

170 Centennial of Canadian Methodism.. 

to which interests the societies in England also contributed 
with a generous hand. 

Neither was the Methodist Episcopal Church without 
strong incentives to hold fast the principles upon which 
their polity was based. If under the Presbyterian polity 
adopted in England the societies had multiplied their 
strength and risen to a position of great influence and pros- 
perity, not less significant had been the advancement of 
Methodism under that form of episcopacy prevailing on 
this continent, and which it was not without the most 
positive reasons believed represented Mr. Wesley's prefer- 
ences. Moreover, there were other great principles beside 
those involved in the form of church government to which 
they adhered, and which they were resolved to maintain, 
which constituted strong reasons why they should maintain 
their independence. It was believed that no Church could 
receive the patronage of the State, and more especially 
when it was administered, not under statute, but by the 
executive of the party in power, without unconsciously or 
willingly becoming more or less subject to party influence. 
To such a principle great prominence had been given in the 
ante-union period of their history, and they felt that its 
sacrifice was a matter of too much consequence to be passed 
over with indifference. They believed that they who 
preached the Gospel should look to the voluntary responses 
of the people as the only safe system of support, both for 
their ministry and their institutions, and it would be less 
than justice to the self-denying, laborious men who, at im- 
mense personal sacrifice, refused to abandon this principle, 
to deny that only under the impulse of convictions which 
entitle them to the respect of those even who differ from 
them, could they have sustained the laborious zeal which 
distinguished their usefulness. 

Methodist Episcopal Cluircli in Canada. 171 

It was a fact of history that " it was when religious 
establishments were first contemplated that the Church of 
Christ began to degenerate from her primitive purity ; 
that it was when religious establishments commenced their 
existence, that popish and corrupt doi trines received their 
countenance and support in the Church ; that it was when 
religious establishments got the vogue, that papal domina- 
tion, which had crimsoned the Christian world from age to 
age, commenced her infernal sway." That all these evil 
consequences would follow the patronage of the State 
might be prevented by a gracious providence operating upon 
an age of more enlightened conscience, but that such was 
its tendency they held with sufficient conviction to hold 
them aloof from it. The first ministers of the Gospel had 
been supported by the free-will offerings of Christians. So 
would they. The apostles had found it inexpedient to 
traffic with the powers of this world, and they would follow 
their example ; and it is no small compliment to their sense 
of the propriety of the several branches of the Christian 
Church depending upon the loyalty of their own followers, 
that at the present time there are few in either Church or 
State in this the most prosperous of all the Provinces, who 
would favour a return to a system of state patronage, now 
happily abolished, under which so much of the public 
revenue was applied to the support of sectarian institutions. 
The decision of the courts having been adverse to their 
claim to the Church property held before the Union, there 
was nothing left them to do but to build anew for their 
accommodation, and to such a purpose — though most of 
their members and adherents were comparatively poor — 
they responded with the utmost generosity. 

The Conference of 1837 met at Cummer's Church, Yongo 

172 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Street, on the 21st of June, Bishop Reynolds presiding. The 
increase in membership during the year had been 1,132, 
making a total of 3,522. The number of preachers stationed 
by the Conference was thirty-four. These statistics give 
results to the labours of the comparatively small number of 
workers which, in the face of the difficulties with which they 
had to contend, afford no insignificant comment upon their 
zeal and fidelity. The next Conference met on the 4th of 
September, at Sophiasburg, Bishop Reynolds presiding, Rev. 
James Richardson, afterwards Bishop Richardson, being 
elected Secretary. At this Conference three of the preachers 
were granted a superannuated and three a supernumerary 
relation. The membership reported was 4,591, an increase 
of 414, a large number of the members having emigrated to 
the United States during the year. The General Confer- 
ence was convened at the same time. The principal busi- 
ness transacted was in preparation for the celebration of 
the centennial of Methodism. The following year was one 
of much success ; the membership reported at the Conference 
held in September, 1840, being 5,325, an increase of 734. 
The next year, 1841, the Conference met at Palermo, report- 
ing a membership of 6,049, an increase of 724 ; and in 1842 
at Yonge Street, when a membership of 7,555 was reported, 
an increase during the year of 1,506. This and the following 
year were seasons of great revival. Throughout the Church 
the spirit of awakening had spread, the labours of the Church 
being owned and blessed of God everywhere. At the Con- 
ference of 1843, held at Sidney, twelve candidates were 
admitted on trial, and an increase in the membership of 
1,324 was reported, making a total membership of 8,880. 
The General Conference wag convened at the same place and 
time, the Annual Conference adjourning to allow the neces- 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 

sary business of the General Conference to be transacted. 
After due deliberation it was decided, for good and sufficient 
reasons, to divide the Conference, the western part of the 
work being named Niagara, and thee astern, Bay_of Quinte. 

Two important events took place in the year 1845. Rev. 
J. Allev, of the Black River Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, having made the acquaintance of a num- 
ber of the ministers of the Church during a visit to Canada 
the year previous, and having won their admiration, was 
invited, in view of the advanced years and infirm health of 
Bishop Reynolds, to accept the episcopal office, to which he 
was duly elected at the General Conference, held in Grove 
Church, in the township of Hope, in October, 1845, and 
on the Sabbath following was duly ordained by the imposi- 
tion of hands of Bishop Reynolds, David Culp and Philander 
Smith. His genial manners, fervent piety and great ability 
as a preacher gave promise of much usefulness to the Church, 
but the high expectations entertained at his election were 
destined to an early disappointment. While preparing for 
his removal from his home in the United ^tates he contracted 
a severe cold, from the effects of which he never fully recov- 
ered. During the session of the Belleville Conference he 
had the misfortune to break his leg, and bone disease setting 
in he was prostrated for months, during which he experi- 
enced tin' most intense sufferings, from which he was released 
by death in the early part of June, 1*47, less than two 
years after his election to the episcopacy. 

It was in the same year, 1S45, that Rev. Thomas Webster 
and Joseph Leonard issued the first number of the C<i»uda. 
Christum Advocate, which was purchased by the General 
< onference in Is 17, thus beeomb g the organ of the Church. 
It was at first published by Messrs. Webster and Leonard 

174 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

in Cobourg, but upon its purchase by the General Confer- 
ence, the office of publication was removed to Hamilton, 
where it was published from the Book Room until amalga- 
mated with the Christia^Guardian upon the consumma- 
tion of the Union in July, 1884. 

The question of higher education is one in which Metho- 
dism had always shown an interest worthy of its great 
founder, whose indefatigable labours for the diffusion of in- 
telligence among the masses were only exceeded — if exceeded 
at all — by his zeal for their evangelization. In England, 
in the United States, and in Canada, at the earliest possible 
date the zeal and liberality of both ministers and laymen 
founded seminaries and qq] leges, where, under the control 
of men devoted to the doctrines and usages of the Metho- 
dist Church, her sons and daughters were given the advan- 
tage of broader culture without being exposed to the 
influence of those in other institutions who, if not directly 
hostile to her growth, were not likely to contribute any- 
thing to her advancement. The Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Canada was no exception to this distinguishing 
feature of our common Methodism, and, therefore, even in the 
weakest period of her history, never lost sight of her mission 
in this regard. The future establishment of a seminary, to 
be under her control and to be available to both sexes, was, 
therefore, for many years kept before her people, and became 
a fixed fact in 185Z, when an Act of Incorporation was 
obtained from the Parliament of Canada, giving it a corpor- 
ate existence as " Belleville Seminary." 

The financial crisis which swept over the country at this 
time was seriously felt by the institution, whose resources 
were thereby much impaired ; but adversity only the more 
stimulated the zeal which had given the institution its. 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 17- r > 

birth, hence, notwithstanding the embarrassment which 
followed and impeded its progress, the institution made 
steady progress, and soon demonstrated the wisdom of its 
founders and its value to the Church. Though feeling the 
need of increased income, and having the same right as 
other denominational institutions to avail itself of the will- 
ingness of the Government to confer an annual grant out of 
the public funds, the Board of Management, from the first, 
determined that the institution should survive or fall by the 
principle of voluntary support, thus disclaiming the right — 
as it doubted the expediency — of churches as such, to accept 
grants from the State out of the public revenue, for the sup- 
port of institutions not subject to its management or con- 
trol, and established for denominational purposes as well as 
for the promotion of higher education. Doubtless its pro- 
fessors might have had better remuneration for their ser- 
vices, and the institution been saved from much embarrass- 
ment, if the Board had availed itself of the government 
assistance, obtainable for the asking, but the Church could 
not stultify itself by departing from a principle for which it 
had contended during its whole history. 

In 1860, it was affiliated with Toronto University as 
Belleville College, the ladies' department taking the name of 
Alexandra College, its students having all the advantage 
of the course prescribed by the students of Belleville College. 
In 1866, a charter in Arts was procured, constituting the 
institution a university, enlarged in 1*70 to all the faculties, 
in which capacity it did an invaluable service to both the 
Church and the country, its degrees commanding respect, 
and its graduates advancing to positions of influence and 
usefulness in the learned professions, and in the various 
stations in life to which they devoted themselves. At the 

176 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Union of 1884 its charter was amalgamated with that of 
Victoria University, since which period it has been con- 
ducted as a collegiate institution, of much value and impor- 
tance to the Church. 

The death of Bishop Alley, in 1847, rendered the appoint- 
ment of a successor necessary, and the choice of the succeed- 
ing General Conference fell upon Rev. Philander Smith, 
whose earnest piety, administrative ability and acknowledged 
eminence as a preacher distinguished him, not only in his 
own Church, but in public estimation, as a man in every 
sense worthy of the high office to which he was elected. 
He served the Church with much self-denying zeal until 
1870, when he was called to his reward. He was elected 
to the episcopal office in 1847, and served in that capacity 
twenty -three years. At the General Conference held at St. 
David's in 1 8,5.8, Rev. James Richardson was elected as his 
colleague, and though never accepting; remuneration, gave 
his eminent abilities and service to the Church, until he, too, 
was called home at the advanced age of eighty-three years, 
dying in the year 1875, full of honours, and leaving to his 
family, the Church and country a memory fragrant with all 
those virtues which constitute a great and good man. At 
the General Conference held in Napanee, 1874, in view of 
the decease of Bishop Smith, and the advanced age of 
Bishop Richardson, it was decided to elect one of younger 
age to bear the duties and honours of the episcopal office, 
..the choice falling upon Rev. Albert Carman, M.A., whose 
distinguished success as President of Albert University had 
for many years given him prominence before the Church 
and country. With scholarly attainments, apostolic zeal 
and peerless executive ability, his life has been one of most 
exemplary devotion to the cause of God. With" a constitu- 

Methodist Episcopal CJiiirsh in Ccnnda. 177 

tion at all times suggesting the clanger of exposure and 
unremitting zeal, he is yet, after a toilsome service f< r many 
years as President of Albert University, during which time 
he never seemed to think it possible he could wear out, and 
since his election to the office of Bishop, and later on as 
General Superintendent of the Methodist Church — full of 
vigour, with the promise of many years of usefulness before 

In a large mea c ure growing out of the (Ecumenical Con- 
ference held in London, England, in 1881, the agitation for 
a union of all the Methodist Churches — neither of which 
can justly claim to have been first — pressed itself upon the 
several bodies for their consideration. Fraternal deleira- 
tions by an interchange of courtesy had done much to 
reconcile the differences which had hitherto separated the 
several branches of the Methodist family in Canada. In 
the autumn of 1882, the General Conferences of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church and of the Methodist Church of 
Canada met in Hamilton, and the question of union became 
a live question, which could no longer find expression in the 
passing of meaningless resolutions. The question had also 
been before the Conferences of the Primitive Methodist and 
Bihle Christian Conferences. Arrangements were made for 
a meeting of the Standing Committees of these several 
bodies, which, after some informal Conferences at which 
not much of importance was accco'i plished, it was decided 
to adjourn to a given date for a further Conference to be 
held in the Carlton Street Primitive Methodist Church, 
Toronto, with a view to a basis of union if such an issue 
should appear practicable. 

The meeting was held, and after deliberations, presided 
over by Bishop Carman, in which there was the evident 

178 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

presence of the Divine Spirit inducing a spirit of fraternity, 
ltefore which all obstacles disappeared, a basis of union 
was agreed upon, conceding to each denomination in a fail 
degree the central principles of its polity. This basis ol 
union was subsequently submitted to the Quarterly Official 

\ Boards throughout the Dominion, and with remarkable 
unanimity was by them approved. It was then submitted 
to the higher courts of the contracting bodies — approved 
and consummated at the Union General Conference, held in 
Belleville in the fall of 1883. It did not take effect, how- 
ever, until July 1st, 1884, it being thought incompetent foi 
this body to convey the property of the various churches ti- 
the united body, inasmuch as the constitutions of neither oi 
the contracting bodies provided for its own dissolution, and 
therefore dangerous to attempt it in view of possible litig.i 
tion. In the meantime the matter was laid before the 
several Provincial Legislatures and before the Dominion 
Parliament, thus giving to any persons who might be 
opposed to the Union an opportunity to appear before these 
bodies in defence of their rights. No such opposition was, 
however, made, and therefore the necessary Acts of Parlia- 
ment were passed, and the Union legally consummated. 

At the time of Union the several Conferences of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church embraced 228 ministers, 25,671 
members, 23,968 Sunday-school scholars, with church pro- 
perty valued at $1,523,514, most of which, excepting educa- 
tional institutions, and a few of the churches recently built 
in centres of population, was free from debt. 

-**■* At the consummation of union, Bishop Carman was elected 
one of the General Superintendents of the Methodist Church, 
and Rev. Dr. Stone, who had been for eight years editor ©i 
the Canada, Christian Advocate, and for a longer period 

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. 179 

agent of the Book Room at Hamilton, was elected associate 
editor of the Christian Guardian. 

In the foregoing, in view of the limited space allowed, it 
h:is not been practicable to trace from year to year the 
growth of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but enough has 
been stated to show that her progress had been marked 
with signal success ; and at no time in her history was she 
in a better position to maintain her position and advance 
her growth than when in the providence of God, and we 
believe for the best interests of both Methodism and Canada, 
the wounds of division were healed and her resources con- 


By Rev. J. Cooper Antliff, D.D, 

THE Primi'ive Methodist Connexion was born in the 
first decade of the present century in the c6unty of 
Stafford, England, and its founders, under God, were Hugh 
Bourne and William Clowes. Both these godly men were 
originally local preachers in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 
but were expelled because they persisted in holding field- 
meetings contrary to the decision of the Church courts to 
which they were amenable. In adopting and carrying for- 
ward their aggressive plans of Christian work, they were 
moved purely by their fervent desires to save the multi- 
tudes, who were living in utter disregard of the services 
held in the buildings dedicated to divine worship. They 
were greatly influenced by the example of Lorenzo Dow, 
an eccentric minister from America, who visited England 
in 1^07, and held camp-meetings in Cheshire and Stafford- 
shire with great success. The first camp-meeting held by 
Hugh Bourne was on May 31st, 1807, and was a season of 
niU'-h spiritual blessing; the next was modelled after the 
American type, and lasted three days ; but the length of 
time was found inconvenient, and subsequently the service 
was not extended beyond a day. The converts of these 
new evangelists were urged to join such classes as were con- 

182 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

venient to them in the VTesle} an Societies of the neighbour- 
hood in which they lived, and this was done, till the Super- 
intendent minister of the Burslem Circuit refused to accept 
as members some ten persons, who had been converted 
under the labours of Hugh Bourne and his co-workers, 
unless they pledged themselves to have no connection with 
those who had been the agents of their conversion. To 
these severe terms they would not consent, and the result 
was they formed the nucleus of a new denomination, much 
to the regret at the time of Hugh Bourne himself, who, 
like the venerable founder of Methodism, John Wesley, 
had no thoughts whatever in the beginning of his work of 
founding a separate denomination. This first class was 
formed at the village of Standley, in March, 1810 ; after 
this the number of Societies rapidly increased, and in 
September of the same year their united membership 
amounted to 136. In February, 1812, the first printed 
plan was issued, and the name Primitive Methodist 
taken ; all the Societies were included in the Tunstall 
Circuit till the year 1816, when it was divided, and 
Derby became the head of a separate circuit, which, how- 
ever, was superseded shortly afterwards by Nottingham. 
In 1818 Loughborough was made a separate circuit. The 
work of God spread with amazing rapidity, for in the 
cpace of a year and nine months not less than seventy-five 
towns and villages were missioned in the counties of Not- 


tingham and Leicester, and societies formed. 

In 1819 a meeting was held in Nottingham to consider the 
advisability of holding a Conference, and the following year 
the first Conference of the denomination was held in Hull. 
The following year, at the Conference held in Tunstall, it 
was found the Connexion contained sixteen circuits, and the 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada. 183 

number of members was 16,394, having more than doubled 
during the year. This Conference, among other wise reso- 
lutions, decided to establish a book room and printing office, 
which were shortly afterwards commenced at Bemersley, 
where they continued till 1843, when the Connexional 
publishing establishment was removed to London. In the 
following year, 1822, the good work spread on all sides, and 
amongst other places reached Brampton, in Cumberland. 
Here was living at the time Mr. William Lawson, a local 
preacher, class-leader and steward of the Wesleyan Society 
in the place. A friend of Mr. Lawson, James Johnson, of 
Carlisle, a Primitive Methodist, had written him a letter 
about the work this infant denomination was doing, and 
also had enclosed a copy of the church polity, and offered 
to send a Primitive Methodist missionary to preach at 
Brampton if desired. This offer was accepted, but as the 
preacher that was to take the appointment could not fill it, 
Mr. Johnson went himself. He was accompanied to the 
service held in the open-air by Mr. Lawson. At this ser- 
vice, which was marked by much spiritual power, several 
professed conversion. For attending this meeting, Mr. Law- 
son was, the following Tuesday, expelled from Society; but 
this action of the Superintendent minister not being sus- 
tained at the preachers' meeting held the following day, a 
deputation waited on Mr. Lawson to request his re-accept- 
ance of the official books he had surrendered ; but he 
declined to accede to the request, and connected himself with 
the Primitive Methodist Connexion. Shortly afterwards 
the Rev. Wm. Clowes visited Brampton, and his mighty 
preaching moved the village and all the country round. 
The year 182") was one of much suffering in England on 
account of the failure of the crops, and Mr. Lawson found 

184 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


the year following one of much anxiety in his business — 
that of a tailor — and consequently he decided in 1827 to 
emigrate. One of the preachers of the infant Church, the 
Rev. John Flesher, who afterwards attained great eminence 
in the Connexion, in passing through Brampton, stayed a 
night at Mr. Lawson's, and was informed of the purpose of 
his host. He endeavoured to dissuade him, but after 
retiring he laid the matter before God in prayer, when his 
mind was changed, and he saw in a vision the safe arrival 
and peaceful settlement of his friend and family in Canada. 
When the itinerant related this to Mr. Lawson and his 
household, it was a great help and comfort to them ; and 
when he promised to endeavour to get a missionary sent if 
there were an opening, the light on their pathway seemed 
to get still clearer. 

On April 14th, 1829, Mr. Lawson with his wife and six 
young children sailed from Maryport for Quebec. There 
were on board about a hundred passengers, to whom Mr. 
Lawson preached every Sabbath, when possible. They 
landed on May 29th, and continuing their journey, reached 
Little York, now Toronto, on June 11th. Mr. Lawson's 
zeal was not injured by his new surroundings, and in July 
he commenced preaching in the open air in the market 
square of the town in which h s lot had been providentially 
cast. One cannot help admiring such devotedness, and iti 
such conduct we are reminded of apostolic history, in which 
we read, " They that were scattered abroad went every- 
where preaching the Word." The open-air services were 
continued till the following October, when a small school- 
house on Duke Street was secured for the services. This 
was the first building in which Primitive Methodist services 
were held in Canada. But it was found too small for the 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada* 185 

increasing congregation, and the sehool-house of Mr. 
Thompson, who had belonged to the Primitive Methodist 
Society at Duffield, Yorkshire, was obtained for the services. 
Bnt while preaching and labouring to get sinners converted, 
steps were wisely taken to conserve the fruits «f cured, and 
a class-meeting "was commenced in Mr, Lawson's house- 
As was fitting, the members elected Mr. Lawson the leader, 
while the choice for assistant fell on Mr. Robert Walker, 
who had been in the leader's employment in England, and 
indeed, had lived in his house. Mr. Walker, who was con- 
vinced of sin under the preaching of Mr. Johnson, on one 
of his visits to Brampton, had emigrated in the year 1828, 
and after a year's residence in 'Quebec, had pushed farther 
west to Little York, where he met his former friend and 
employer, and with whom he heartily co-operated in laying 
the foundation of the new denomination. We thus find 
three worthy laymen — Messrs. Lawson, Walker and Thomp- 
son- in the first elass-meeting ; and from that day to this 
the families they represent have been well reported of in the 
Methodism of our land. 

As the Church was growing rapidly, the need of a regular 
minister was felt, and a letter was forwarded to the En dish 
Conference, asking that one might be sent. In August, 
1830, the request was granted, and Mr. R. Watkins arrived 
from New York. That he came from the United States is 
accounted for by the fact that in 1829 the English Confer- 
ence had sent Mr. Watkins, with three other travelling 
preachers, to the United States, to care for those of the 
denomination who had gone to America to find new homes, 
and to gather in those who were living in disregard of 
spiritnal things. Instead, therefore, of sending another 
minister from England, Mr. Watkins was requested to visit 

186 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Toronto, and take charge of the infant Church. Thi 
minister, writing under date of October 27th, 1830, says:— 
" I found a small society of sixteen persons, chiefly immi 
grants, who had belonged to us and the Wesleyans ii 
England. Two or three of them were local preachers 
They held their meetings in a school-house in the suburbs 
Since my arrival the Society has augmented to thirty-fou 
members, and the congregations are large and attentive. 

Mr. Watkins opened several places in the surrounding 
country and formed three societies, but his stay was ver 
brief, for in the following year he removed to Albany. Hi 
place in Canada was taken by Mr. Summersides, another o 
the four missionaries who had been sent to America in 1828 
Mr. Summersides arrived from Philadelphia in October 
1831, and was received with open arms by Mr. Lawsonaix 
the rest of the Society. He soon proceeded to the place 
opened in the country, and was encouraged with thi 
prospect of good. At the Quarterly Meeting held ii 
December, the number of members was found to be upward! 
of a hundred. Mr. Summersides was full of zeal, and die 
not spare himself in his consecrated toil. That he endurec 
hardship as a good soldier, the following extract from hi: 
journal testifies : — 

" February 2nd, 1832. — The last thirteen clays I hav< 
preached sixteen times, led two classes, ridden fifty miles 
and walked seventy. The cold has been very severe. Ai 
nights everything around us has been frozen, and the whit* 
rime and frost have lain very thick upon the beds in th< 

The good cause, however, was making progress, and ai 
the Quarterly Meeting held on March 1st, the number oi 
members was 132. On the plan were the names of twelvt 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada. J 87 

local preachers and four exhorters, and the preaching places 
were the following: York, Woodells, Scarborough, Blue 
Bells, Smith's, Centre Road, Churchville, Streetsville, 
Switzers school-house, Four Corners, Claridge's, Paisley, Don 
Mills, Wallace's, Hoggs' Mills, Thornhill, Nicholls', Hum- 
ber and Halton — in all, some twenty appointments. 

At the English Conference of 1832, a report of the 
work in Canada was presented, and it was decided to place 
the promising mission under the care of Hull Circuit. At 
this time the General Missionary Committee had not been 
organized, and it was, therefore, customary for the stronger 
English circuits to take under their charge mission stations. 
On the 3rd of September, at the Quarterly Meeting, the 
number of members had increased to 195, the financial 
affairs had also improved, and fresh openings presented 
themselves for the extension of the mission. The 21st of 
the following month was a day of great rejoicing, for it 
witnessed the dedication of the new church on Bay Street, 
which could accommodate almost six hundred persons, and 
had cost about S3, 800 ; nearly one-third of this amount 
was collected, leaving the balance a somewhat serious 
encumbrance on the premises. Though the financial pres- 
sure was injurious to the Church, and involved much 
struggling, it was ultimately overcome by the generosity of 
the people. 

In 1833 the Hull Circuit sent Rev. JosephJPartington to 
assist in the further development of the work. In the same 
year the same circuit sent another missionary, whose name 
in Canadian Methodism is as ointment poured forth — Wil- 
liam Lyle, for many years known as Father Lyle, a name 
indicative of the lo\e and reverence in which he was held. 
He was a man of good figure, commanding presence and an 

188 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

open countenance. William Clowes had met him and had 
been struck with his gifts and graces. He joined the Wes- 
leyan Church when twenty-one years of age, but afterwards 
became a travelling preacher in the Bible Christian Church, 
which he left on account of a trifling irregularity in relation 
to his marriage. After this he taught school till he became 
a Primitive Methodist preacher in the year 1826. The 
Hull Circuit sent him to London, and, after travelling in 
several English circuits, he was sent to Canada in 1833. 
He was stationed at Markham, one of the outlying appoint- 
ments in the Toronto Circuit; afterwards at Churchville in 
1835, and in 1837 in Etobicoke. Amidst much discourage- 
ment he laboured with success. He seemed to have but one 
aim — to save souls ; and his heart's desire was abundantly 
granted him. His last circuit was Laskay, which, under 
his superintendency, was blessed with an increase of one 
hundred members. He superannuated in 1863, and died 
ten years afterwards. The first words he uttered when 
converted, in 1816, were, "Glory! glory! glory!" and 
amongst his last words when dying were, " Christ is all in 
all." His was a blessed life and a triumphant death. 

But, returning to the thread of our narrative, we find in 
1833, in addition to the accessions to the ministerial ranks 
from England, that Messrs. Berry, Lowden and Arthur 
were employed as travelling preachers, so that altogether 
six missionaries were in the field. In the month of Septem- 
ber Messrs. Summersides and Berry visited Niagara, and 
organized a station there. From the report of Hull Circuit 
for 1835, we learn there was an increase for the past year 
of one hundred members in the Canadian missions. In the 
Minutes of Conference for 1838, we find that Toronto had 
been divided into two circuits, Brampton being the head of 

Primitive McihoaiJ Church in Canada. 189 

the new one, so that, with Niagara, there were now three 
circuits. Messrs. Summersides and Jolley were appointed 
for Toronto, Mr Lyle to Brampton, and a missionary was 
wanted for Niagara. The returns of members were : — 
Toronto, 192 ; Brampton, 163 ; and Niagara, 20 ; total, 375. 
During the next four years Niagara was given up, but 
Markhain was made the head of a new circuit, so that the 
number of circuits remained the same. The period was one 
of healthy growth. In the months of January and February, 
18-41, a great revival took place on Toronto Circuit, and 
about 200 were converted. The membership in 1842 was 
663, and two preachers were stationed to each circuit. The 
three circuits were made into a district similar to the dis- 
tricts in England, and empowered to hold a yearly meeting 
for the management of its affairs. A District Committee 
was also appointed to be governed by the same rules as the 
District Committees in England. 

In 1843 an increase was reported of 242 members. This 
year an important step was taken in England by the forma- 
tion of a Connexional Committee, called the, General Mis- 
sionary Committee, which took charge of the missionary 
operations of the Connexion instead of leaving them to the 
more powerful circuits ; consequently the Canadian Church 
passed from the fostering care of the Hull Circuit, which 
for twelve years had tendered help both by sending men 
and means. The newly organized committee was empowered 
to send additional missionaries, and to arrange for the recep- 
tion of monthly accounts of the progress of the work. 
Directions were nlso given for a Missionary Society to be 
organized in Canada, in order to raise funds for enlarged 
missionary operations; and to prevent financial embarrass- 
ment, it was arranged that no missions should be undertaken 

190 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

without the consent of the Canadian District Committee. 
These arrangements had beneficial results, and in 1844, the 
report of the Canadian work, which is more extended than 
those of former years, indicates rapid advancement. The 
statistics were : — 10 travelling preachers, 83 local preachers, 
1,004 members and 172 on trial; 12 churches, 4 Sunday- 
schools, 43 teachers and 269 scholars. 

At the English Conference of 1844, held at Lynn, Nor- 
folk, Canada received much prayerful consideration. The 
possibilities of the Connexion in this new land seemed to be 
profoundly felt, and it was thought advisable that the 
venerable Hugh Boutne himself should visit the infant 
churches that he might, by his counsel and public addresses, 
consolidate and extend the work. There were some who 
dissented from the proposal ; and when it is remembered 
that Mr. Bourne was seventy- three years of age and was 
far from robust, it must be admitted that the appointment 
involved considerable risk. He was to stay as long as he 
deemed it necessary, and he was " under the joint direction 
of the General Missionary Committee and the Canadian 
District Committee, which were required to arrange matters 
so as to render his mission that of an adviser in carrying 
out the purposes of the committees respecting the missionary 
work." His name appeared in the English Minutes for the 
year as " Adviser from the English Conference." After 
making necessary arrangements for the journey, he sailed 
from Liverpool on July 3rd, and reached Quebec on August 
24th. On the voyage he had a slight accident, in which one 
of his legs was hurt through a plank falling on it, and he 
suffered so severely from sea-sickness that it was feared he 
would die ; but when able to w alk around the ship he strove 
to impress upon the sailors the importance of spiritual 

Primitive Methodist Chinch in Canada. 191 

things. In his journal he says, " Before leaving the Oberon, 
on which I had come to Quebec, I spoke to the sailors to 
sav how heavenly it was for sailors to be at places of wor- 
ship on Sunday and Sunday nights compared to what it was 
to sit at ale-houses, hurting their minds, injuring their 
bodies, rendering themselves unfit for work on Monday 
mornings, spending their money, hurting their families and 
so on. I trust these sailors will keep up their stroke of 
piety, and I trust my labour among them will not be in 
vain in the Lord." As he landed in Quebec on the Sabbath 
morning, he attended the "VYesleyan Church in the morning 
and the Scotch Church in the evening. 

On Monday, he started for Montreal by steamer, arriving 
on Tuesday afternoon, where he spent two weeks with a 
nephew and niece. On Sunday, September 1st, he wor- 
shipped in the New Connexion Church in the morning, and 
in the Wesley an Church in the evening. On the 8th, he 
says : " At Montreal ; attended a Wesleyan chapel. The 
preacher published for another preacher to preach to the 
Sunday-school children in the afternoon, so at the close of 
the service T went and put into his hands my treatise on 
preaching to children. I did this quite as a stranger. At 
night 1 attended at the same place." The following Thurs- 
day he took the boat for Toronto. On the Saturday 
evening lie was much delighted with a gorgeous sunset, and 
describes it in eloquent terms. The Sabbath found him 
preaching, morning and evening, to his fellow-passengers, 
himI he appears to hav<- had a good day. On Friday, the 
'-'I'th, he writes : '' 1 landed at Toronto, and was met at the 
wharf by Mr. Lawson and one or two of his sons, and some 
"tin-re; of this 1 was glad." 

He commenced work the following day in Bay Street 

102 Centennial of Canadian Methodism, 

Church by teaching in the Sabbath-school, and then preac/i- 
ing to the children — for in all his. travels and preachings 
children were specially cared for. He then threw himself 
into the work with his characteristic zeal,, and visited the 
various circuits- as opportunity served. He did more than 
a due regard to bis physical well-being would have war- 
ranted, and probably the disease, from which he died eight 
years afterwards, was partly brought on by his long joor- 
npys, which he usually made on foot. Let the following 
serve as a sample of his travels. He writes ; *' January 
1st, 1S45. — I rose at four, and set off without breakfast; 
walked eleven miles to Lambton, and took breakfast ; then, 
about eight miles to Toronto — near or about nineteen miles 
in all."' In the spring of 1845 he visited Niagara, and 
crossed over the line to Buffalo, and from thence returned 
to Toronto. On Tuesday, August 15th, 1845, he heard 
from England that a decrease of eight hundred members 
had been reported at the Conference. This was a great 
grief to him, and he decided to return to England for the 
Conference of 1846. He therefore left Canada a few days 
afterwards, intending to spend a few months in visiting the 
Primitive Methodist Churches in the United States, The 
following March, he embarked at New York in the Monte- 
zuma, and with his usual economy, travelled as a steerage 
passenger. After a passage of twenty-four days, he safely 
reached Liverpool, when he writes, " Thanks be to God for 
His unspeakable gift. So now I am again on English 
ground, and in good health, except the hurt on my right 

In 1845, and also in the following year, there was a slight 
decrease in the members on the Canadian missions, but the 
tide of prosperity returned in 1847, and the number of 

Prim tree Methodist Church in Canada. 103 

members was reported as 1,246. The Rev. John Petty, in 
his history of the Connexion, says of this period ; " During 
the ensuing vear several new churches were erected and 
placed in easy circumstances; some of the missions wen? 
extended, and an encouraging addition was made to the 
number of members. The report for 1848, contained eight 
principal stations, fourteen missions, twenty-three Con- 
nexional churches, fifteen Sabbath-schools, 764 scholais, 
lJ8 teachers, and 1,343 members of society. The nex^ 
succeeding year was one of greater progress, the number of 
members having risen to 1,526. In 1850, the number 
reported was 1630, about 1,000 more than in 1840. Could 
the urgent calls for missionaries have been promptly met, 
a much greater increase would doubtless have been realized. 
During the period in question Messrs. T. Adams, J. Fowler, 
William (Uedhill and J. Davison were sent from the ranks of 
the regular ministry in England, and rendered good service 
to the stations in Canada. Mr. Davison's age, experience 
and wisdom enabled him to afford valuable assistance in 
the committees of management. But could the supply of 
missionaries have been quadrupled, much larger accessions 
would have been made to the mission churches, and the 
cause in Canada would have been both greatly strengthened 
and widely extended." 

The names mentioned by Mr. Petty are still held in 
loving remembrance by great numbers in Canada, and 
especially did Thomas Adams and John Davison render 
eminent services to the Canadian work. The former joined 
the Primitive Methodist Church in 1819, when about 
nineteen years of age, and entered the ministry four years 
afterwards. He laboured with great success in various 
parts of Kn gland, in the North of Ireland, and Wale*. He 

194 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

appears to have got the impression that Canada offered a 
large sphere for usefulness, and, therefore, offered himself tc 
the General Missionary Committee for Canada. He was 
accepted, and came to this country in 1844. His circuits 
were : Toronto, Etobicoke, Brampton, Reach, Guelph, Gait 
and Blenheim. He was honoured by being elected President 
of Conference, and his brethren loved him and reposed the 
utmost confidence in his piety and sound judgment. He 
was superannuated in 1865, and spent the last years of his 
life in Gait, and died in great triumph on November 26th, 

John Davison was born near Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1799. 
and was converted by the agency of William Norris, a 
Staffordshire potter, who had gone to Newcastle, and whe 
was an earnest local preacher of the Primitive Methodist 
Church. Mr. Davison joined the first society formed in 
Newcastle, and shortly began to exercise his gifts in calling 
sinners to repentance in the surrounding villages. In 1823, 
he was called to the ministry by the Hull Quarterly Meet 
ing, and the following twenty-four years were spent on 
some of the most important circuits in the north of Eng 
land. In 1840 he was requested to go to Australia as 
Superintendent of Missions, but declined. When, however, 
a similar request was preferred in reference to the Canadia-i 
Mission, in 1847, he complied. He reached Toronto in 
August, 1847. After residing three years in the city, he 
was stationed on the following circuits : Grand River, 
Hamilton, Brampton, Gait and Guelph Union Mission. In 
1857 he was appointed General Missionary Secretary and 
Book Steward, which brought him again to Toronto, where 
he continued to reside until his death, in 1884. In 1866 
he was superannuated, after being engaged in the active 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada. 19"> 

work forty-three years. He not only trie^ to do good with 
his tongue, but also with his pen ; in 1840 he compiled the 
journals of William Clowes, and in 1854, published the life 
of the same eminent evangelist, who, under God, ranks 
with Hugh Bourne, as one of the founders of the Con- 
nexion. It may be remarked in passing, that Mr. Davison 
married the step-daughter of William Clowes, on October 
11th, 1825. On coming to Canada, Mr. Davison found no 
denominational periodical, and he therefore ventured, on 
his own responsibility, to commence a monthly paper, the 
EanhjeVtxt, which had a good circulation ; but' was after- 
wards merged into the Christian Journal, which was 
started at the Conference of 1858, with Mr. Davison as its 
editor. This position he held till his superannuation. He 
also compiled the first book of discipline. Outside his own 
denomination he was loved and esteemed, and the confi- 
dence of the general public in him was shown by his 
appointment by the Government to a place on the Senate 
<>f Toronto University, which he held from 1863 to 1873. 
Amongst the last words this venerable servant of God 
uttered when dying, were : " I have done what I could for 
the Church and the woi Id ; my work is done." And we 
doubt not the Master greeted him on his entrance into His 
presence with ''Well done!" 

Turning now to the progress of the Connexion, we find 
from the \ ear 1N50 steady progress. In 1851 there were 
reported twelve stations, nineteen missionaries, and 1,739 
members, and some of the stations were self-supporting. In 
the following year theie was an increase of one station, and 
also one missionary. Tn 1853 there were fifteen stations, 
twenty-three preachers, and 2, 3 -J 6 members. In 1854 the 
btutioiio were reported in two districts — Toronto and 

19G Qentennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Hamilton — the number of stations had risen to nineteer 
the preachers to thirty-seven, the members to 2,671. I 
1855 the stations were twenty-five, the preachers thirtj 
seven, the members 2,902. In 1856 the stations wef 
twenty-eight, the preachers thirty-seven, and members 3,031 
So the numbers kept growing till, in 1860, the number c 
principal stations was thirty-two ; missions and missionariei 
forty, and members of society, 4,274. 

During the past decade a very important step was taken i 
the organization of the work — the inauguration of 
Canadian Conference. This Connexion al court was forme 
in 1854. For some time previous to this it had been foun 
inconvenient to be in the position of an outlying dependenc 
of the English Conference ; and though the English author 
ties were wishful to do their utmost to promote the wel 
being of the Canadian work, still a larger measure < 
home-rule was dpsired. The Canadian authorities in 185 
requested Mr. Wm, Lawson to go to the English Conferenct 
held that year in the ancient city of York, to lay the matte 
before it. He complied with the desire of his brethren, an 
was successful in obtaining the consent required. M: 
Lawson, with his customary generosity, gave the mone 
allowed for his expenses to a benevolent object. When th 
Canadian Conference met the following year, he we 
appointed its Secretary, and was also appointed Secretary < 
the Connexional General Committee, which office he fille 
till 1858, when the Rev. John Davison took the positioi 
Bv the arrangement made with the English Conference, th 
Canadian Conference stationed its own preachers and coi 
ducted its own missionary operations. It had the right ( 
appointing two representatives to the English Conference- 
one minister and one layman — who were chosen either froi 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada. 197 

brethren in England or in Canada as was found convenient. 
The following matters were laid before the English Confer- 
ence : Special and important business, a full report of the 
numerical and financial state of the Canadian work, the 
stations of the ministers, the names of ministers ordained 
and received as probationers. When these matters passed 
through the Conference they were published in the English 
Minutes, the same as their own business, the Church in 
Canada being regarded as an integral part of the Connexion. 
A grant of money was annually made, which was put into 
the hands of the Canadian Missionary Committee to dis- 
tribute as it deemed best. 

By the Conference of 1859 Brampton was made the head 
of a new district, so that now there were three districts : 
Toronto, Brampton and Hamilton. The following year the 
districts were again rearranged, and three new ones made — 
Guelph, London and Kingston. Earrie was, some years 
afterwards, added to the list, making a total of seven. This 
number there was at the Union of 1883. The success 
realized during the years 1850-1860 was obtained by God's 
blessing on faithful work and enterprising zeal. The mes- 
sage of salvation was carried to the pioneer settlers in parts 
of the country being newly opened, but where now are to be 
found prosperous communities and strong churches, who in 
their turn are providing means to send forth the Gospel to 
the regions beyond. To accomplish this aggressive work, an 
increased number of regular ministers was required, and, as 
is shown by the statistics, the number was increased almost 
threefold. Some of these ministers were sent from England 
by the General Missionary Committee, and others were 
called to the work by the Canadian Conference. Amongst 
these brethren, several of whom have occupied the highest 

198 Qcntcnnial of Canadian Methodism. 

positions in the gift of the Church, and who were st 
working for the Master when the union took place, may 1 
mentioned, the Revs. R. Cade, J. Milner, J. Markhai 
George Wood, John Garner, Win Bee, J. Smith, J. Goo 
man, Wm. Herridge, and W. S. Hughan. 

At the Conference of 1860 it was decided to station tl 
preachers by a Stationing Committee, composed of an equ 
number of ministers and laymen ; heretofore this busine 
had been done at the May District Meetings, which pla 
on account of the small number of ministers in each distri( 
was found inconvenient and unsatisfactory. In the ye 
1860 the jubilee of the whole Connexion was celebrate* 
Canada joined in this celebration and devoted the moneta 
proceeds chiefly to commencing a new mission called t 
" Jubilee Mission," which afterwards developed into thr 
circuits: Wingham, St. Helens, and Grey. 

The following table shows the progress of the cause sin 

1860 ; the first column gives the number in 1870, and tl 

second in 1883 — the last Conference held before the cc 

summation of union : — 

1S70. 1883. 

Travelling Preachers SI 9S 

Local Preachers 263 214 

Class Leaders 320 299 

Members of Society 6,432 8,090 

Sabbath-schools 130 152 

Scholars 7,S33 9,065 

Connexional Churches 193 231 

Other places of Worship 1 67 58 

Parsonages 25 50 

Value of Church Property $1SS,925 $403,346 

Debt on " " 60,298 

During this period, 1860-1883, the work of consolidate 

and extension made progress, if not rapidly, yet sure] 

Primitive MctJiodist Church in Canada. 199 

Owing to the migratory habits of the people, large numbers 
who were converted and influenced for good removed to 
parts of the Dominion in which there were no Primitive 
Methodist Societies, and consequently other evangelical 
churches were benefited by their adhesion. The want of 
an educational establishment for the training of young minis- 
ters was keenly felt, and the Rev. Thomas Crompton com- 
menced a Theological Institution in a humble way ; but after 
doing good work for a year or two, it was given up. When 
the Jubilee of the introduction of the denomination in 
Canada was celebrated, in 1879, a fund, amounting to 
several thousand dollars, was raised for the assistance of 
burdened trusts, and to assist in building new churches and 
parsonages. As grants and loans were made conditionally 
on the trustees and friends connected with needy churches 
making increased efforts to help themselves, the operation 
of the fund was highly beneficial. In 1873 a catastrophe 
happened the Connexion, by the burning down of the church 
on Alice Street, Toronto, a large and beautiful building, 
which had taken the place some years previously of the old 
Church on Bay Street. Under the ministry of the Rev. 
Thomas Guttery, who had come from England in 1871, this 
church had been abundantly blessed, and the very week 
before the fire occurred a meeting had been held to consider 
the subject of its second enlargement. But the misfortune 
was overruled for good, for the trustees took steps to erect 
on a better site a building more suited to the needs of the 
growing church, and the result was that Carlton Street 
Church was erected, at a cost of about $50,000, and an 
organ worth about $6,000 was placed in the new building. 
The school-rooms attached to the Carlton Street Church 
were large, and well adapted to the purpose, and the Rev. 

200 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Dr. Rice pronounced them the best arranged for their pur- 
pose of any in Canada. Thus, the Mother Church of th t 
Connexion in Canada, had for its steward for many years 
Mr. Robert Walker, who continued in unbioken member- 
ship with it from the organization of the first class, in 1830, 
till his death, in 1885. By his labours and his means he 
did not a little to gain for himself the universal love and 
respect of the whole of the Church in the Dominion, which 
looked up to him as a father. His efforts to promote the 
cause of God were earnestly seconded by his family. His 
eldest son, John, was an official of the church for several 
years before his death, which occurred in Manchester, Eng- 
land, by being thrown from a horse. He passed away at 
the age of thirty, singing a hymn of holy triumph. His 
secoi.d son, R. Irving Walker, was a worker in the Sunday- 
school, and also a class-leader and local preacher. He suc- 
ceeded, on his father's death, to the place of Church Stew- 
ard, which he retained till the time of his too early death, 
at the age of fifty-one, which occurred in March, 1890. 

The Connexion has had amongst its laity men of whom 
any church might well be proud. Amongst a number fro 
large to name may be mentioned: W. Marshall, of Bramp- 
ton ; J. Green, of Orangeville ; Wm. Wilkins, of Gait ; Isaac 
Wilson, of Albion : Lewis W. Purdy, of Sydenham ; W r m. 
Ttebilcock, of London; and T.M. Edmondson, Jos. Kent and 
John Bugg, of Toronto. Most of these honoured brethren 
have passed over the river, though some remain to this day. 
The good man, whose name has so often occurred in this 
sketch, Mr. Wm. Lawson, after laying the foundation of the 
C mnexion in Toronto, removed in 1834 to Brampton, which 
was named by him after his English home. He purchased 
a farm, and carried on a country store. In 1847 he re- 
moved to Hamilton, wh< le, with his two sons, he canied on 

Primitive Methodist ChurcJi in Canada. 201 

a large clothing business. Here again he was the chief 
ai^ent in organizing a Primitive Methodist Church. The 
last Conference he attended was that of 1873. As he had 
not been at Conference for several years previously, his 
presence was cordially greeted by his old friends. He took 
a conspicuous part in the business, and showed himself the 
'•Rupert of debate." One who was present says : "The 
power and earnestness with which he spoke surprised even 
his most intimate friends, and greatly delighted them." But 
his end was drawing near. On January 31st, 1875, he 
attended the sacramental service in the Hamilton Church, 
and, by request of the pastor, he offered the closing prayer. 
On February 11th he was taken sick at the home of his 
daughter, in Hamilton, and on the 16th of the same month 
he departed to be with Christ, being in his eighty-second 
year. His name will long live \\\ the memory of the Church, 
and the hundreds to whom he was a spiritual father, and 
who were "his crown of rejoicing." 

Perhaps it is but right to add a few words concerning the 
ministers who have held positions of especial prominence in 
the denomination ; and on this list an honoured place should 
be given to the Rev. Robert Boyle, who, after a remarkably 
successful ministry, was superannuated, on account of fail- 
ing health, in 187N. Mr. Boyle, who was converted when a 
youth from tin- Roman Catholic faith, has held the highest 
positions in the gift of his brethren, and his name is beloved 
in all parts of Ontario in which he has ministered the 
Word of ( :.».!. The Rev. James Edgar, M.D., in the early 
years of his ministry, which commenced in IS 18, was a 
ini-hty preacher at camp-meetings. He was a man of re- 
fined tastes and g.-ntle disposition. After his superannua- 
tion he practised as a physician in Toronto, and was a 

202 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

blessing in tlie homes of many, especially the poor, to whom 
he became " the beloved physician." He died suddenly in 

Amongst the ministers who have served the Connexion 
in connection with the Book Room and Christian Journal 
may be mentioned the Rev. William Rowe, who was for 
many years the chief executive officer of the Chunh. He 
returned to England in 1872, on account of ill-health. The 
Rev. Thomas Guttery, who came from the English Confer- 
ence in 1871, and returned to England in 1879, was pastor 
of the Mother Church in Toronto for five years, and after- 
wards of the Yorkville Church. He edited the Christian 
Journal with ability, and was an eloquent preacher. The 
Rev. Thomas Crompton, who came to Canada in the prime 
of his manhood from the English Conference about the year 
1853, ably served some of the best circuits ; he was editor 
for a term. He was superannuated in 1872, and died in 
Hamilton, in 1885. No minister of the denomination has 
been honoured with official position for the same length of 
time as the Rev. William Bee, who filled the office of < ditor 
for several years, and was the Book Steward from 1872 till 
the union ; in addition to these offices he also filled those 
of Secretary of the Connexional Committee and General 
Missionary Secretary. The Rev. J. C. Antliff, D.D., was 
editor from 1879 till 1883, when the Christian Journal was 
merged into the Christian Guardian. He was the minister 
of Carlton Street Church from 1878 till 1884, and was 
honoured by being elected Secretary of the General Confer- 
ence of the United Church at Belleville, 1 883. 

The following ministers filled the presidental chair for the 
last years of the denomination. : The venerable George 
Lamb, 1876; William Bee, 1877; H. Harris, 1878; James 

Primitive Methodist Church in Canada. 203 

Smith, 1879; W. S. Hughan, 1880; M. H. Matthews, who 
died a triumphant death during his year of office, 1881; 
John Goodman, 1882 ; W. Herridge, 1883, and at the final 
Conference, Thomas Griffith, M.A. 

In concluding this sketch, it only remains to say that 
when proposals for the organic union of the Methodist 
denominations began to be considered, there was a wide- 
spread feeling in the Primitive Methodist Church that the 
time had come in God's providence for the Methodism of the 
Dominion to become a unit. 

The Conference of 1 882, by resolution affirmed, " The 
desirability and possibility of the unification of Methodism 
in this land, and appointed a Committee to meet and confer 
with any Committee appointed by other Methodist Churches 
to prepare a basis of union." After a basis had been for- 
mulated, it was submitted to the societies throughout the 
Connexion, and was approved by a large majority. Tl.e 
English Conference of 1883 had the matter laid before it, 
and with expressions of good-will consented to what was so 
manifestly according to God's will. During the spring of 
1884, the Rev. William Bee being in England, was desired 
by the Canadian Missionary Committee to close up the mis- 
sionary business with the English Committee. He was 
treated by the Committee with the utmost consideration 
and kindness, and some of the leading spirits of English 
Primitive Methodism as the Rev. C. C. McKechnie (Editor), 
and T. Penrose— spoke cordially and hopefully of the future 
of the United Church, and their kind sentiments were 
endorsed by all present. There were other financial matters 
to be arranged, and the writer of this was deputed to visit 
the English Conference of 18S4, held atTunstall, to arrange 
for the equitable claims of the Canadian ministers to be ^aid 

204 Centoinial of Canadian Methodism. 

on their withdrawal from the Itinerant Preachers' Friendly 
Society. This was accordingly done, and the Canadian 
brethren, by complimentary vote, expressed their satisfac- 
tion on his return, with the arrangement he had made. 
The Connexion had laid before it the matter of " levelling 
up" as it was termed, and in response nearly $14,000 was 
subscribed, and over $5,000 given from Connexional funds 
to enable the ministers of the body to be put on a level 
with those of the older branch of the Church in their 
claims on the funds of the Superannuation Fund and their 
property in the Book Room establishment. 

Although it was not without a pang that the denomination 
lost its distinctive name and separate position in the coun- 
try, on Whit Sunday, 1884, yet almost all felt it was for the 
good of Methodism as a whole, and also of the Church of 
Christ generally in this land ; and subsequent blessing on 
the United Church has abundantly justified the hopes then 
entertained. May the union, as peacefully consummated, 
become a still increasing blessing as the years roll by 1 


By the Rev. George "Webber, 

IT will be very difficult for the reader to put himself back 
into the conditions of life in that Old World neighbour- 
hood nearly a century ago, where the Bible Christian Church 

The formality, irreligion, and profligacy that so generally 
prevailed at the commencement of the present century over 
a large part of Devonshire and the east of Cornwall, seems 
incredible. In a large tract of the northern pare of these 
counties — a distance of seventy miles east and west, and 
forty miles north and south, inhabited by a large popula- 
tion — there were but three Dissenting chapels, built a hun- 
dred and fifty years before by the ejected Puritans, and 
only two known Evangelical clergymen. Bull-baiting and 
cock fighting were common amusements, while cricket and 
hunting and wrestling were the frequent sports of Sabbath 
afternoon, ending often in the grossest drunkenness and 
profanity. A considerable portion of the clergy delighted 
in hunting and wrestling and card-playing and fighting and 
dancing. Instances of drunkenness and the most flagrant 
vices were not rare among them. As may be well supposed, 
where clerical iniquities so abounded the majority of the 
people were ignorant alike of the nature and necessity <f 
experimental religion. A single serwee in the parish 

206 CentQiinial of Canadian Methodism. 

church on Sundays afforded the only opportunity of attend- 
ing public worship in many parishes, and that service was 
often conducted by a clergyman who had followed the 
hounds, or been at wrestling matches or prize fights, or 
drunken revels with his parishoners, during the week. 
Many, even of the well-to-do farmers, could neither read nor 
write. Bibles were both dear and scarce, and seldom read. 
Schools were scarce ; cheap religious books there were none, 
and a newspaper could hardly be found in the county. 
Sabbath-schools or meetings for prayer wereutterly unknown. 
It was a common opinion that Jews and heathens needed 
conversion, but those who were born in a Christian country 
and had been baptized and confirmed needed none, and that 
only fanatics pr tended to experience the f rgiveness of 
sins. Truly, it might have been said, darkness hath covered 
the land, and gross darkness the people. It was amid this 
manifest religious apathy and moral profligacy of the people, 
and the utter incapacity of the clergy to supply the spiritual 
needs of the people, that the Bible Christian Church came 
into existence in Shebbear, Devon, England, October 29th, 

William O'Bryan, the fourfder, in the providence of God, 
was a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher, in the Bodmin 
Circuit, Cornwall. In the autumi. of 1815, Mr. O'Bryan 
had been filling appointments in the Stratton Mission, and 
while thus engaged a friend told him he knew of more than 
twenty adjoining parishes in the county of Devon in which 
there were no Methodists or Dissenters and the people were 
in a most deplorable state of irreligion and ignorance. This 
led Mr. O'Bryan to embrace the earliest opportunity of 
visiting several of those parishes and witnessing the terrible 
spiritual destitution of the people. After preaching at one, 

Bible Christian Church. 207 

Shebbear, he formed a society of between twenty and thirty 

One opening speedily led to another, societies increased, 
a number of zealous labourers were raised up, and the work 
grew and multiplied. The next autumn a great revival of 
religion commenced in Moorwinston and spread rapidly and 
widely over a considerable portion of Devon and Cornwall, 
twelve hundred professing conversion within fifteen months 
f iom the formation of the first society. One instance may 
be given of the manifest power of God at that time. At 
their earliest, if not their first, Love-feast, when only a few 
had spoken, the power of God rested upon them so mani- 
festly that people were in distress in every part of the large 
crowded barn. Some were seeking for pardon, others for 
full sanctification. The meeting continued all ni^ht, when 
they adjourned for a slight breakfast, after which the meet- 
ing recommenced and lasted until two o'clock, during which 
time fifty had obtained ptace with God, and many others 

In 1819, the societies and preachers had so increased thft 
it was considered proper to hold a conference, which con- 
ference was called together at Baddash, Launceston, Corn- 
wall, August 17th, 1819. This Conference, representing 
over two thousand members, divided the work into twelve 
circuits and sent fort i thirty itinerant preachers — sixteen 
male and fourteen female — to minister to them. 

At tin Conference of 1821, held at Shebbear, the Bible 
Christian Missionary Society was formed. The receipts of 
the society for the first year amounted to £92 19s. 7d. At 
the Conference of 1831, the deed of enrolment, and a consti- 
tution was framed, so that the denomination properly took 
rank as a religious body, legally sccuicd with its chosen 

208 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

name and polity. The denomination was from the first dis- 
tinctively evangelical, distinctively Methodistic, distinctively 
liberal in church government, ministers and laity having equal 
rights in all church courts. It was from this Conference at 
Hick's Mill, Cornwall, August 4th, 1831, that two mission-, 
aries were sent forth to open missions in North America. 

It required no little courage and faith for a small denomi- 
nation of 6,650 members, whose annual income that year 
to the Missionary Society was only £104 4s., with a mis- 
sionary debt of <£66 burdening it, to send out two mission- 
aries to America. But their confidence in God and the 
people was not misplaced. The response to the appeal for 
funds was liberal and hearty, so that the missionary income 
for the next year was <£264 12s. 8d., enabling the committee 
to discharge the debt and pay their way. 

The missionaries sent were John Glass to Canada West, 
and Francis Metherall to Prince Edward Island. John Glass 
soon yielded to discouragement and left the work, so that 
the next year another was sent out. Fr&ncis Metherall, 
with his wife and two children, embarked at Plymouth for 
Prince Edward Island, September 5th, 1831, but after two 
weeks the ship sprung a leak aad had to return to Plymouth 
for repairs. The next spring, April 23rd, Mr. Metherall 
and his family re-embarked, and after a voyage of two 
months, landed at Bedeque, Prince Edward Island, June, 
26th, 1832. After some difficulty, he found a few friends 
at Union Road, and Winslow Road, and the neighbourhood 
of Charlottetown, and commenced services in dwelling- 
houses, or barns, or in the open-air, as opportunity opened. 
Nine years of the most heroic and self-sacrificing service in 
the ministry in England had fitted Mr. Metherall for yet 
more arduous and self-denying labours abroad. His circuit 

Bible Christian Church. 209 

soon became a very large one ; his first year's returns were 
forty-seven members. At the close of the second year he 
returned sixty members, with thirty -six preaching places. 
The work so grew and extended that the following year an 
assistant, Philip James, was sent to the Island. 

John Hicks Eynon was appointed to Upper Canada by 
the Conference of 1832, and sailed from Liverpool, October 
the 7th. But the vessel encountered such a succession of 
storms, that it was finally driven back, and reached Cork 
Harbour, November 28th. The missionary landed his b xes 
containing his library and possessions, and put them, as he 
supposed, in safe keeping, but the boxes were stolen, and 
the owner never saw them after. Mr. Eynon returned to 
I-] i inland for the winter, and on the following March (18th), 
married Elizabeth Dart. This marriage had a most impor- 
tant influence on the Canadian mission. Elizabeth Dait 
was the first of the fourteen female preachers s-ent out by 
the first Bible Chris' ian Conference. She had laboured with 
great zeal and success in the work in England, was the 
instrument in Cod's hands, of the conversion of Mr. Evnon. 
With her Mr. Eynon had been in correspondence over five 
vears, and would have married her before he first left En"- 
land, but for a misunderstanding. She was not at all sur 
prised to see him return, for she had an impression that he 
would never reach Anierit a without her. With this excel- 
lent woman as his wife, Mr. Eynon sailed from Padstow, 
Cornwall, May 1st, 1833, in the brig Dalusia, and after a 
l-'UU' and stormy vogage reaehed Quebec, June 17th. Mr. 
William Hockings, Miss Daniel and others, who had settled 
in Quebec, urged Mr. Eynon to stay and open a mission 
there, where there was a good \ rosi ect and much need; but 

210 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

h's appointment was to Upper Canada, and he pressed on to 
his destination, reaching Cobourg, July 6th. 

Here at Cobourg, the cradle of the Bible Christian Church 
in Canada, Mr. Eynon, the founder of the denomination ii. 
this country, first preached in the open-air, then in the gaol, 
then in a dwelling-house, and there organized the first 
society, consisting of four persons, all of whom were faithful 
to God and the Church, until called to the kingdom and 
home of heaven. His work soon extended north, and west, 
and east, until it took in a circuit of nearly 200 miles. His 
first quarter's receipt was an English half-crown. But 
God greatly blessed their labour, and at the close of the first 
year eighty-eight members were returned. Mrs. Eynon took 
work as regularly and as successfully as her husband. Pain- 
ful as it was, to persons who loved each other so truly and 
tenderly as they did, they often parted for many weeks in 
succession in the prosecution of their heroic and holy mis- 
sion — Mrs. Eynon going from house to house, and township 
to township, preaching and sustaining the services, while 
Mr. Eynon went on farther to open up new fields and 
explore the country and find out the wants of the new and 
scattered settlements. The country over which they tra- 
velled, though now one of the richest, and most prosperous, 
and populous sections of Canada, was then a vast forest, with 
small and scattered clearings, and log houses, and many 
discomforts and privations. Wolves have sometimes chased 
the settlers when returning from their meetings, and some 
narrowly escaped with their lives by reaching the shelter of 
their shanty, and watching anxiously through the night. Yet 
through all the difficulties that met them, the missionaries 
faithfully pressed on to a successful and God-crowned end, 

Bille Christian Chunk. ill 

their life being given in unhesitating and complete dedi- 
cation to the service of God and the well-being of their 
felloe men. And no evil was permitted to befall them, no 
wild beasts to devour them, nor any plague to come nigh 
their dwelling. At Cobourg, Mr. Eynon erected a small 
church, and opened it Sunday, March 5th, 1836, which was 
twice enlarged, and then gave place to a better and larger 
brick church. At Precious Corners, the second church in the 
country was built, and dedicated July 3rd, 1836. The 
number of members in church fellowship had now increased 
to 181, and another missionary (John Kemeys) was sent out. 
The work continued to grow and extend, until yet another 
missionary (John Edwards) was sent out in 1839. A 
division of labour was made, in some measure, the next 
year, but nothing like a circuit division until three yeais 
later, when Philip James and Robert Huntley arrived to 
increase the missionary supply. Then they outlined circuits, 
to which the missionaries were regularly appointed, though 
the circuits were larger than many of our districts to-day. 
In the fall of 1844, Thomas Green and J. B. Tapp arrived 
from England, increasing the number of missionaries to 
seven, when the work was further divided into four stations, 
and one of their number appointed to open a fifth mission. 
The number of members had increased to 625, and the work 
was being rapidly pushed forward in every direction. To 
us it seems strange that people should travel from Darling- 
ton, Whitby, Cavan, and other distant places, to the 
quarterly love-feast at Guideboard (Welcome), when the 
roads were so few and the difficulties of travel so many. 
But these seasons were to the scattered friends times of 
precious re-union and holy commvnion and power God 
was with them in a wonderful way to convert, to tanctify, 

212 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

so that they returned from these services refreshed and 
inspired indeed. 

The preaching and services of these times, though for the 
most part held in log school-houses, and dwellings, and 
barns, were attended with great power and many conver- 
sions — as many as twenty having found peace at one 
service. In the midst of special services conducted by the 
brethren Kemeys and Edwards, at the first cburch bui,t in 
Hope, on their way to the service one evening a noise was 
heard at some distance in the woods, which was found to be 
a man crying to God in one direction and three women in 
another. Whilst at the meeting that followed, the power 
of God was so overwhelming that the whole congregation 
were moved. In some instances the most unlikely places 
were opened for preaching, and the most unlikely people 
became friends and helpers of the missionaries. As in the 
case of John Edwards opening the mission in the townships 
back of Belleville. He obtained the bar-room of an Irish 
tavern-keeper by the roadside for his first service, and 
presently the tavern-keeper and all his f mily became con- 
verted. The tavern was changed into a house of God, the 
family became active workers in the cause of religion and 
temperance, and a society of forty-six members was formed, 
all of whom became total abstainers. 

It would be pleasant to call up the names of some of the 
earliest members of the Church in this country : the Jennings, 
Hoars, Courtices, Dobles, Harpers, Rur;dles, Elliots, 
Smales, Collings, Masons, Elfords, Vanstones, Clarks, and 
others, and to recount their sacrifices for the young cause, 
and their great kindness and devotion to the missionaries, 
would space permit ; for out of their poverty they often gave 
all they had to help the work aloig, and put themselves to 

Bible Christian Church. 213 

any pprsonal inconvenience and sacrifice to entertain and 
si.pplv the wants of the servants of God. For many years 
after the missions were opened, especially the back stations 
money was exceedingly scarce. It was difficult for the 
farmers to get money for their produce, while the roads over 
which they had to take it were, in many instances, fearful, 
and, in some cases, dangerous and impassable; so that you 
will not wonder at the estimable wife of one of the leading 
members of one of the societies telling a missionary that she 
had then on her feet the second pair of shoes that she had 
ever worn since she was born. Or, that one of the mission- 
aries having no money, and nothing to trade with, became 
his own tailor, and when the front of his pants was worn 
out, ripped them carefully and turned sides with them, and 
wore them again as if they were new. A much more com- 
mendable thincr to do than to dress in the finest br adcloth 
that has not been paid for, or desert the path of duty 
because difficulties beset the path. Though the salaries were 
small, and money scarce, and the journeys long, and the 
accommodation humble, and the exposure and privations 
great, yet these early preachers, full of apostolic faith and 
zeal and burning love and self-consuming toil, laboured on 
with a noble and heroic fidelity, that won for them a high 
pliiee in the admiration and gratitude of the Church. 

In 1^1."), the era for the first church building may be said 
to have arrived. Bowmanville church, opened on the lirst 
of January in that year, cost £200, toward which they con- 
tributed nearly £150 before and at the opening. Several 
churches were built soon after in different parts of the 
work, so that they numbered fourteen at the close of that 
year, seventeen the next year, twenty four two years later ; 
and year by year they continued to add to the number 

214 Ceniennial of Canadian Methodism. 

rapidly for the next decade. These log and frame churches 
were some of them comfortable and commodious, others 
were humble and unpretending ; but in them a pure gospel 
was preached with great plainness and power, and God was 
wonderfully present to bless and save — the membership 
continuing to increase until it again tripled itself in ten 
years. In January, 1845, the first Missionary Meeting was 
held at Cobourg, addressed by the brethren Eynon, Hurly, 
James, Tappand Green. One who was present says they spoke 
like seraphs, and the collection was £6. Other meetings 
soon followed, with the most liberal and beneficial results. 
Missionary liberality and enthusiasm was a striking char- 
acteristic of the denomination from this time on to the days 
of the Union. 

In the year 1846, the number of missionaries was further 
increased by the arrival of the brethren Paul Robins, Wil- 
liam Hooper, and Henry Abbott from England. Immedi- 
ately after, two missionaries were sent to open up missions 
in the States of Ohio and Wisconsin, which they did with 
good and permanent results, but of that work we cannot 
write now, as th : s sketch is confined to Canada. The pre- 
vious year Mr. Eynon had driven some six hundred miles 
in all in examining several parts of Western Canada and 
the religious nefds of the newly settled sections. On the 
arrival of additional labourers, Philip James was sent to 
open new missions in what was known as the Huron Tract. 
He was very successful as a pioneer missionary in what is 
now one of the most prosperous and wealthy sections of 
Western Ontario. Missions were opened, that in a few 
years became strong and self-supporting circuits. So 
rapidly did the work extend in every direction, that the 
greatest and most pressing want of the denomination at this 

Bible Christian Church. 2 1 5 

time was additional missionaries. As yet, Canada had 
scarcely begun to supply itinerant labourers, and the chief 
hope was still to appeal to England for men. Mr. Eynon 
visited the English Conference, and pressed the claim upon 
the churches at home, but without much success. Instead 
of fourteen, they needed fifty missionaries in the field at this 
time. As a result of the lack of suitable men at this 
important juncture, many valuable parts of the Province 
were lost to the denomination. We blame no one. The 
home Conference, at much self-sacrifice, did all it could with 
its limited means and numbers and men, and the growing 
demands of the work in other mission fields of the world ; 
but the fact remains, that the lack of a sufficient number of 
good men at the time seriously limited the operations of the 
denomination in Canada. 

In 1849, Cobourg ceased to draw financial aid from 
England. In 1800, Darlington &lso ceased to receive help. 
In 1852, the surplus on Cobourg, Darlington and Peterboro' 
Stations, with the missionary receipts, completely met the 
deficiencies on the other stations, so that from that date 
Canada ceased to receive financial aid from England and 
bee line self-supporting. 

in 1852, the field in Canada was divided into three dis- 
tricts for the convenience and advantage of the work. In 
June, 1853, a general meeting of the preachers and representa- 
tives of these districts was held in Bowmanville; but this and 
the following general meeting, held in the same place the 
next year, did not claim the status and legislative functions 
of a Conference. They met for mutual advice, encourage- 
ment and report, and to exchange work. But this arrange- 
ment led to a lengthy correspondence and some misunder- 
standings with Endand. EnclaiH feared that Canada was 

216 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

seeking perfect independence. To allay all irritation and 
remove all misunderstandings, and arrange with England, 
Paul Robins was sent to the English Conference of 1854 
as a deputation from Canada. Mr. Robins was received 
with great respect, and treated with every personal courtesy 
and consideration, yet he felt his task was a difficult one, 
and that the brethren in England greatly misinterpreted 
the action and spirit of the brethren in Canada. It was 
finally agreed by this Conference in England, to grant to 
Canada a separate Conference, with a constitution identical 
with their own, and full control over Provincial affairs. The 
Canadian Conference remaining in close and hearty affilia- 
tion with the parent Conference and remitting to them one- 
tenth of their missionary receipts, which remittance ceased 
ten years after by mutual agreement, when the Prince 
Edward Island District was taken into the Canadian Con- 
ference, and Canada assumed its financial responsibilities. 

The first Canadian Conference duly and regularly con- 
stituted met at Columbus, June 7th, 1855. The number of 
preachers at this time was twenty-one ; churches, fifty-one ; 
other preaching places, 104 ; members, 2,186 ; converted in 
the year, 246. The members of this Conference were Paul 
Robins, J. H Eynon, A. Morris, J. B Tapp, T. Green, R. 
Hurley, W. Hooper, R. L. Tucker, J. Hodgson, preachers ; 
J. King, J. Yanstone, W. Orr, John Dix, R. Allen, W. 
Robins, representatives ; John Pinch and Henry Stephens 
were received into full connexion. John Hooper, S. P. 
Robins, David Cantlin and T. R. Hull were received as 
candidates for the ministry at this time. The Conference 
was a very profitable and harmonious one, and the denomi- 
nation in Canada from this entered upon a new era, and took 
a new departure. From henceforth they must rely on them- 

Bible Christian ChurcJi. 217 

selves for financial support, ministerial supply, and the 
wisdom and experience that shall safely guide the denomi- 
nation in all its undertakings and extensions and develop- 
ments. Fortunately, among the men who had been so 
successful as pioneer missionaries, and had heroically pressed 
through so many difficulties in the earlier stages of the work, 
were wise and judicious leaders, and able and profitable 

Thoush they had often to make their study in the woods, 
and find a place for their devotions under the shadow of a 
great tree, and many a time had to rise from prayer swollen 
and almost blind from mosquito bites, or a plague of black 
flies : and had to carry their few books, procured at great 
sacrifice from small salaries, over long and exhausting 
journeys ; yet they did read and study, and by close appli- 
cation, and wise economy of time, and untiring industry and 
self-improvement, keep abreast of their times and people. 
Some of these preachers were gifted to a remarkable degree. 
Their preaching was chiefly expository and textual. They 
divided and subdivided, and sometimes their divisions were 
so many as to remind one of the apocalyptic vision, seven 
heads and ten horns. Yet, notwithstanding this peculiarity 
of the preachers of forty and fifty years ago, their exposi- 
tions of truth were clear, forcible and exhaustive. And for 
lucidness of exposition, clearness of insight, power of appeal, 
and mastery over an audience, they were among the best 
and ablest preachers Canada has known. While as pains- 
taking, visiting, praying pastors, they are models to be 
devoutly copied to this day. Of that early band of 
preachers, John H. Eynon will be ever remembered as the 
father and founder of the denomination in Canada ; Mrs. 

Eynon as one of its best missionaries, and Paul Robins as 

218 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

its wisest and most gifted leader. To the genius and pru- 
dence and consecration and ability of Paul Robins the 
denomination owes much. He was the chief counsellor up 
to 1865. Under his guidance the Book Room, with a very 
humble beginning, was commenced in Bowmanville in 1851, 
and during the years that he was its manager, it was safely, 
wisely and profitably conducted. It may be said that 
under Mr. Robins' pilotage the denomination kept free of 
debt, made sure and steady advancement, inaugurated many 
good and necesssary measures, and rarely ever undertook 
one imprudent or regrettable step. 

In 1865, Prince Edward Island District was united to 
Canada. Up to this time the Island w< rk had been under 
the control and direction of the English Conference. Fran- 
cis Metherall and his co-labourers had worked on the Island 
with good success, everything considered. Their most pros" 
perous year was 1843-4, in which they reported an increase 
of 851 members, after a most extensive and remarkable 
revival. From that date their work extended into the 
south-eastern portion of the Island, so that they occupied a 
field of nearly 140 miles long, from the western extremity 
to Three Rivers and Murray Harbour. Over this extensive 
field they travelled by the blazed path through the woods, 
or by the aid of logs and fallen trees over the swamps, or by 
following the shore when the tide was out ; crossing the 
rivers at the head of the tide-waters, or fording the channels 
as best they could. Sometimes hungry and weary, and 
well nigh exhausted, with nothing but potatoes for their 
scanty meal. Yet these holy and heroic men remained 
steadfast in their work, inspired with a passion for the sal- 
vation of men and the glory of God. And ever foremost 
in devotion, or endurance, or duty, or self-sacrifice, was Mr. 

Bible Christian Church. 2 1 

Metherall, the father and leader of the pioneer band. From 
England worthy helpers were sent to the Island, among 
whom were the brethren Calloway, Harris and Gale ; but 
two of Mr. Metherall's most valuable assistants in the work 
irere the fruit of his own missionary labours on the Island, 
John W. Butcher and Jesse Whitlock, who were most suc- 
cessful and honoured in their work, and rendered a great 
blessing to hundreds of people. On Mr. Metherall's strong 
constitution the hard work and exposure of missionary life 
began at last to tell so seriously, that he was compelled to 
urge on the English authorities the appointment of a suc- 
cessor to take charge of the superintendence of the missions 
on the Island. In 1856, Cephas Barker was sent from Eng- 
land to take charge of the Island stations, and Mr. Mether- 
all, after twenty-five years of laborious missionary service, 
was at last relieved of all responsibility, and soon after 
was permitted to enjoy a well-earned rest from pastoral 
labour, till in green old age he was translated to the king- 
dom and rest of heaven. Mr. Barker did an excellent work 
OH the Island during his nine years' residence. A good 
church was built in Charlottetown, and some others at 
different places through his exertions. A very gracious 
revival was realized in 1860, in which some remarkable con- 
versions occurred, and some wonderful illustrations of the 
saving power of God and the transforming influence of the 
Gospel were seen. When the Island stations were attached 
to Canada, in 1865, and became one of the districts of the 
Canadian Conference, Cephas Barker was transferred to 
Ontario, and John Chappie was sent to Prince Edward 
Island. The remarkable prosperity of the work on tue 
Island under Mr. Barker did not continue during Mr. Chap- 
pie's superintendence. Mr. Chappie was a most devoted 

220 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

man, a good preacher, a good pastor, much esteemed every 
way, but not specially suited to the superintendence of the 
work of that district, and, consequently, the cause somewhat 
declined on the Island, and considerable financial difficulty 
accumulated during the five years of his supervision. In 
1870, Mr. Chappie was relieved, and George Webber was 
stationed in Oharlottetown, and appointed Superintendent 
of the Island. During the five years of Mr. Webber's 
superintendence, the Island enjoyed great prusperity. 
Several new churches and parsonages were built, and for 
the first time in the history of the Island, churches opened 
free of debt, others were renovated, some burdensome debts 
vi ere paid off, followed by gracious revivals, and a consider- 
able addition to the membership. The strong and prosper- 
ous district left by Mr. Webber in 1875, remained at about 
the same under his excellent successors, W. S. Pascoe and 
John Harris, until it united with the New Brunswick and 
Prince Edward Island Conference at the Union of 1884. 

In 1865, Prince Edward Island becoming an integral part 
of the Canadian work, the number of churches was 132, minis- 
ters 54, members 5,000 ; missionary income slightly over 
$4,000; showing that in all its vital statistics the denomina- 
tion had more than doubled in the ten years since its first 
Conference. Perfect accord with England was now enjoyed, 
and as a result Canada received, within a few years, several 
excellent ministers from the home Conference, much to her 
advantage every way. From this date on, an active liberal 
effort to erect larger and more commodious and expensive 
churches was energetically made. The noble church built 
at Bowman ville, in 1858, gave inspiration and help to others 
for many years, notably the large and expensive church 
built in Toronto, in 1874. Many splendid churches were 

Bible Christian Church. 221 

uilt in different parts of the denomination in the later 
ears of its independent existence — an abiding tribute to 
be liberality of the people, the zeal and self sacrifice of the 
rinistry, and the healthy spiritual and financial condit : on 
f the body. At the time of union, there were 181 
burches and 55 parsonages, valued at $400,000, on which 
tie total debt was about $50,000, or one-eighth of its value. 

The statistical and numerical increase did not always 
bow the same upward tendency. Eighty ministers, 7,400 
lenibers, and about 30,000 adherents at the time of 
uion, was a strong proof of the growth and power of 
le denomination. But that progress was not always 
niform and invariable, or without elements of misgiving 
nd concern. The years ending with the Conferences of 
874, 1876, 1877 and 1881 were the most prosperous 
ears, 1877 returning the largest increase of all. While 
a early as 1873 the loss of 517 members, by removal 
eyond the bounds of the denomination, began to awaken 
axiety, it was in the years 1878, 1879 and 1880 that these 
jmovals became so many as to cause deep concern. To 
revent this loss in part, and to assist in spreading vital 
Bdliness throughout the land, the denomination made great 
forts in its last years to extend in many directions. In 
Muwction with this extension movement, Manitoba was 
itered as a mission field in 1879, and missions established 
i the Prairie Province. 

The most notable departure of" the denomination in the 
ttter epoch of its history was the publication of the Obsei ver, 
l a connexional weekly paper, in 1866, and the subsequent 
MChageof printing plant and presses and an establishment, 
nd the setting up of a denominational publishing house, 
Bder the management of Cephas Barker. The publication 

222 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

of a weekly paper by the Church, for its people, was wise 
and necessary every way, and the editorial management of 
the Observer and the Sabbath-school papers was able and 
excellent from first to last. Mr. Barker, as editor for four- 
teen years, and Mr. H. J. Nott for three years, were both 
an unqualified success as editors. Their leading articles 
were written with great care, and showed marked talent and 
culture. They wrote largely for the paper, and always 
well. The tone of the paper was good, and elevated, and 
Christian ; broad in its catholicity, pure in its morality, 
free in its criticism, bold in its stand for the right, resolute 
against meanness and wrong, unswerving in its advocacy of 
sound evangelical doctrines, and unfaltering in its devotion 
to duty. In the editors, drunkenness, gambling, fraud, 
hypocrisy, and all manner of evil, found unsparing foes ; 
and temperance, benevolence, charity, integrity, honour, 
nobleness, and every form of practical goodness, found 
steadfast friends. I have never known a paper with a 
loftier moral tone or more worthy of uniform commenda- 
tion, and it unquestionably was made a great blessing in its 
day. But the business management, under Mr. Barker, 
was a sad loss, and involved the denomination in consider- 
able financial straits. As a preacher, Mr. Barker had few 
equals ; he was a prince and a great man in the pulpit, and 
as a man and a Christian he was one of the noblest of men, 
but as a financial guide he erred. Because of this, the 
denomination became heavily in debt, beginning in 1871 
and culminating in 1880, with an executive liability of 
$55,000. In the connexional year of 1880-81, the denomi- 
nation so liberally responded to an appeal made, that 
$30,000 were subscribed and paid in a few months ; whilst 
the annual income of the Missionary Society and other 

Bible Christian Church. k 22'J 

lands, from th's on, so increased from year to year that 
\ very perceptible decrease of the remaining debt \*as 
nade by the surplus income over expenditure, so that it 
nay be correctly said, that at the time of union the 
lenomination stood well, with a most hopeful outlook. It 
lad been involved heavily by departing from its earlier 
tfaditions, but it had made a supreme, a self-sacrificing 
>fbrt to discharge its liabilities, with marked success ami 

The eighteen brethren who enjoyed the special distinction 
>f being chosen President of the Conference and of the Con- 
lexion from the first to the thirtieth Conference, were Paul 
Etobins, J. B. Tapp, R. Hurley, T. Green, John Chappie, 
W. Hooper, Joseph Hoidge, Cephas Barker, \V. S. Pascoe, 
David Cantlin, Jesse Whitlock, William and John Kenner, 
Sdward Roberts, George Webber, William Jollifl'e, J.J. Rice, 
md Archibald Clark. Some of these brethren were chosen 
o this honour twice, and even thrice. Whi'st this list dees 
lot by any means include all the specially gifted and leading 
ninisters of the denomination in Canada, it does include 
iftme of the most able and talented leaders of the Bible 
Christian Church during the fifty years of its distinctive 
ixistence. If space would permit, it would be a pleasant 
ask to give a brief sketch of the life and leading character- 
rtics of each one, with other worthy names that would be 
idded, but the assigned limit of space forbids this most 
nviting and tempting pleasure. Among that list were men 
Wy differently gifted. All did not possess the same 
pM. of talent. All did not render the same order of 
ervice. But all did render distinguished service in their 
ffrn way, and won the gratitude and confidence of the 
lonornination. Some of the brethren were preachers anil 

221* Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

platform orators of the first order. Some were specially 
gifted as business men, and managers of men and financial 
leaders in a marked degree. Some were pastors and 
teachers of the highest rank ; whilst others, by prayer and 
life, seemed to have wonderful power with God and men. 

Just as the denomination was approaching its jubilee with 
thankfulness and hope, and planning wider fields of labour 
and a general forward movement, it was invited to consider 
the question of the union of the Methodist Churches in 
Canada. When the Conference of 1881 appointed Rev. H. J. 
Nott and Charles Hobbs, Esq.. as its representatives to the 
Ecumenical Council of Methodism in London, no one 
dreamed of the speedy, practical results of that remarkable 
assembly on Canadian Methodism. But at the Conference 
of 1882 the denomination was requested to consider the 
possibility of a union of all the branches of the Methodist 
family in Canada. A distinguished representative of the 
English Conference (Rev. F. W. Bourne) attended this Con- 
ference at Port Hope, and lent the aid of his great name and 
influence to the furthering of the union feeling. After a 
free discussion of the question, a representative committee 
was appointed to meet similar committees from the other 
Methodist Churches. The committee were W. S. Pascoe, 
J. Kenner, G. Webber, E. Roberts, J. J. Rice, H. J. Nott, 
ministers ; T. Courtice, J. Hull, J. Clark, J. Pickard, 
W. Windatt, laymen. The committee met the brethren of 
the other Methodist Churches in joint committee in Carlton 
Street Church, Toronto, the following November. A basis 
of union was agreed on. That basis, as directed by the 
preceding Conference, was submitted by the connexional 
executive to the members of the Church for adoption or 
rejection. More than a two-thirds majority of the members 

Bible Christian C kmch. 22 


voting heartily endorsed the basis of union. Consequently, 
the Exeter Conference of 18>3, after a lung and exceedingly 
able debate, ratified the union upon the proposed basis, by 
fifty-four yeas to sixteen nays and twelve neutrals. A 
memorial and a request was respectfully forwarded to the 
English Conference, asking their approval of the union. At 
first some misunderstanding arose, but it was s-oon explained 
and removed, and the parent Conference gave its hearty 
approval and God-speed to the Canadian Union. That union, 
consummated by the representatives of the four contracting 
denominations, at a General Conference held in Belleville in 
September, 18S3, went into legal effect the following June, 
so that the Conference which met in Bowmanville in 1884 
fittingly and honourably closed the denomination's indepen- 
dent existence in Canada, when, after fifty years of useful 
and successful labour, it merged into the Methodist Church. 

In reviewing the history of the Bible Christian Church 
in Canada, it is very manifest that the Church did not exist 
in vain, or labour for naught, but fulfilled a high and holy 
mission in this country. Called to enter upon the mission 
work of British North America by a few godly members 
who had emigrated from the west of En. land, and the 
urgent need of evangelistic labour in every part of the 
newly settled country, the denomination responded promptly 
and heartily. Its missionaries, for the most part, were 
wisely chosen, and laboured with a zeal and self-sacrifice, 
and economy and a studied regard for the rights of others, 
and a direct seeking of the salvation of souls, so character- 
istic of the parent body in England. 

The denomination was truly and faithfully Evangelical. 
The Bible was emphatically its text-book, the receivt d 
doctrines of Methodism its creed, and the lives of transformed 

226 Centenjiial of Canadian Methodism. 

and renewed men its living epistles It is no small tribute 
to the soundness and intelligence of its ministry, to remember 
that not one was cast out for preaching false doctrine during 
the whole of its history. And but rarely did any member 
ever leave the Church through declension of faith or bv 
falling away into heresy. It valued the labour, and culti- 
vated warm fraternal feelings with every section of the 
Protestant Church, but it never compromised with latitudi- 
narianism, or swerved from the teachings of the Gospel of 
Christ. From first to last it was Bible Christianity in creed 
and practice. 

The denomination was Liberal in church polity. Minis- 
ters and laymen stood toget ier on the equal ground and 
common privileges of the New Testament. They rejected 
all priesthood but Christ's, and all sacramental and sacerdotal 
pretensions on the part of any ministry ; believing very 
firmly in the sole and supreme headship of Christ and the 
perfect brotherhood of Christian believers. Laymen were 
admitted equally with the ministers as members of all 
church courts and committees, and shared with them in the 
administration of the ordinances of the Church. 

The denomination firmly resisted all connection between 
Church and State. In every case they opposed denomina- 
tional grants to sectarian institutions. When sectarian, or 
separate, schools were proposed in Upper Canada, in 1863, 
the Conference and the Connexion strongly pro ested against 
it. In the Clergy Reserve conflict, they were true to their 
principles ; urging all, by teaching and practice, to adopt as 
the true, safe, divine principle for the guidance of Church 
and State, u Render unto Csesar the things that are Caesar's, 
and to God the things that are God's." 

The denomination recognized and encouraged the labour 

Bible Christian Church. 227 

and ministry of Woman. Some of the earliest and best 
preachers and teachers of this Church were holy women. 
They entered the ranks of its ministry and laboured without 
1 t or hindrance for the glo-y of God and the salvation of 
the people. In this re?pect, the denomination took a posi- 
tion in advance of many of the churches of its day, \ ut it 
lived to see its contention widely accepted, and the ministry 
of woman in manifold ways a recognized power in the 

The denomination was faithful to the principles and cause 
of Temperance. Its ministers were required to be total 
abstainers. Its members were urged to follow the same 
w'se and Christian practice, and to this practice and teach- 
ing the Church steadfastly adhered at all costs. 

Not one of the pioneer missionaries survives, and scarce 
any of the early members of the Church remain to this day. 
One by one they have gone over and home, many of them 
closing a good profession with a triumphant death. Thou- 
sands on thousands are now in heaven through the labours of 
this people, while thousands still remain on earth to enrich 
and bless the Church and the world. Therefore, it may be 
truly said, the gifts, and toils, and tears, and sacrifices, and 
services of the past have been nobly repaid in God's own 
beautiful and faithful way. 


By Rev. Dr. Cabman. 

THE fruitful tree lias its roots in the ground, and its 
robust trunk lifting up the branches into light and 
air. The godly man is " like a tree planted by the rivers of 
waters that bringeth forth his fruit in his season ; his leaf 
also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall pros- 
per." The ancient Church was a " vine brought out of 
Egypt. The Lord God of Hosts cast out the heathen and 
planted it. He prepared room before it, and did cause it to 
take deep root, and it filled the land. The hills were covered 
with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the 
goodly cedars. She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and 
her branches unto the river." The Christian Church, in its 
spiritual unity and true catholicity over all the earth to-day, 
is made up of the living branches in Christ the living Yine, 
of whose nurture and glorious growth Cod the Father is the 
husbandman. "Abide in Me, and I in you," said our Lord. 
" As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide 
in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Me. If a 
man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is 
withered. I am the vine ; ye are the branches." "For the 
kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, 
which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into 
his vineyard." Hear another parable: "There was a certain 

2oO Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

householder who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round 
about, and digged a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and 
let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 
And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his ser- 
vants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits 
of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat 
one, and killed another, and stoned another. Last of 
all, he sent unto them his son. And they caught him, and 
cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. . . There- 
fore I say unto you, '1 he kingdom of God shall be taken 
from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits 
thereof." "Now," says the prophet, "will I sing to my 
well-beloved a song of ray beloved touching his vineyard. 
My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill ; 
and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof and 
planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the 
midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein ; and he 
looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought 
forth wild grapes. What could have been done more to my 
vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I 
looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth 
wild grapes 1 For the vineyard of the Lord of Hos's is the 
house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: 
and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression ; for 
righteousness, but behold a cry." " Boast not against the 
branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, 
but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were 
broken off that I might be graffed in. Well ; because of 
unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. 
Be not high-minded, but fear." 

From all which Scripture statements and instru3tions — 
and how otherwise than by Holy Scripture do we know 

The Methodist Church. 231 

anything of the true Church of God 1 ? — some 'lungs are very 
clear and plain. And in the light of these plain and clear 
things we propose for a little to view the Methodist Church. 
A "historical sketch" is a-kecl for; but the organiza- 
tion now as 'The Methodist Church" is emphati- 
cally, in its present phase, but of yesterday. " The Metho- 
dist Church," as such, has not had time to make much of a 
history. Contrasted with those whose boast is in their 
antiquity, and whose hope is in their sensible, tangible line 
of descent, it may upon the historic surface make, indeed, 
but a sorry showing. If venerable and visible externals in 
boasted succession are the necessary and only credentials of 
genuine churchhood, we likely are beaten before the argu- 
ment is begun. But if the descent, the continuity, unity, 
and identity are in the hidden life, and the demonstrations 
of churchhood are in the approved manifestations of that 
spiritual life, we may venture in humility to urge a claim 
as of the people of God. The historv may be brief ; but 
the philosophy of history is profound and eternal. Chang- 
ing systems and pretensions, perishable organizations give 
diversity to history ; its perpetuity, power and progress are 
found in the constant (low of mighty forces far beneath the 
surface of events and far down out of ordinary human sight. 
They are found in the uplifting energies that appear in the 
development of races and of faiths, as the fertility of the 
earth and the generosity of the sun appear to day in the 
flower on the hill-side, and to-morrow in the oak upon the 
mountains and in the cedars of Lebanon. That is the 
genuine flower, the real tree, that lives i his year or next, 
ont year or a thousand, by these hidden forces. That is the 
true Church of God that lives by the exhaustless divine 
energy in this century or that, and brings forth the f raits of 

232 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

holiness, meekness and love from generation to generation ; 
that, with dead branches pruned out, and fresh shoots grown 
in, maintains its productiveness from age to age. The one 
point is to find and hold connection with the hidden divine 
life, ever moving onward, and bring forth the fruits there* f 
The plain and evident things, manifest in the foregoing 
quotations from Holy Scripture, in whose light we propose 
to examine the history, status and prospects of the Metho- 
dist Church are : 

1. The personal religious life, the spiritual life of the 
child of God — and there is nothing of this relationship 
without this life-— is an inner and a hidden life, a life hid 
with Christ in God, a life sh~>wn forth in thought, aim, 
affection, emotion, character and action. 

2. This life has its proper and normal expansion, 
engenders and sustains its peculiar organisms, and fitly 
nurtured, brings forth abundantly its appropriate fruit, 
demonstrating at once the nature of the life and its divine 

3. The church life is precisely of the same character, 
origin and results as the personal spiritual life ; arises in 
the same way out of the ever onflowing life of God, is sus- 
tained by the same energy, and gives the same proofs of its 
existence and activity. 

4. The true Christian of one generation as well as of 
another ; the child of God in one age as well as in another, 
finds this divine spiritual life a river of life ever flowing, 
and must find it and keep it to be kept by it. "They did 
all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same 
spiritual drink ; for they drank of that spiritual rock that 
followed them : and that rock was Christ." Each in his 
own time has his own connection with the life-giving power. 

The Methodist Church. 230 

I, from eternity to eternity ever living, am the vine ; ye, 
from generation to generation, are the branches. Not an 
outer form, an integument ; but an inner fibre, a spiritual 
organism, conveys the life. 

5 The individual Christian may lose this life, and be 
cast forth as a branch. " Every branch in Me that beareth 
not fruit, he taketh away." And the conditions and results 
of the loss of this spiritual life are the same in all genera- 
tions. " If a man abide not in Me, he is cast foi fch as a 
branch, and is withered." Jf, after they have escaped the 
pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, thev are again entangled therein, 
and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the 

G. A true Church — which expression the Scriptures 
justify, as they speak of the Church at Cenchrea, the 
Church at Corinth, the Churches of Galatia, the Churches 
of Judea — composed as it is of true believers, living mem- 
bers of the living body, living branches of the living vine, 
may also lose this life and be cast forth as a branch. A 
Church, being many persons, and bound together not only 
by the inner spiritual life, but also by many external bonds, 
may live beyond the natural life of this or that member, and 
may appear to live even when its individual members may 
all have lost their spiritual life. For often the political, 
social or financial forces may hold it together as a society 
when it is dead as a Church. It is in such a case, as with 
the ancient people of God, the Jewish Church and nation, 
it is said : " Weil, because of unbelief they were broken off. 
If God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He 
also spare not thee." It is in such a case .that it is said to 
the Church at Sardis : " I know thy works that thou hast 

234 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

a name, that thou livest and art dead. If, therefore, thou 
shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief ; and thou 
shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee ;" and to 
the Church of the Laodiceans : " So then because thou art 
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of 
my mouth." 

7. The Lord God that rejects a faithless, disobedient 
race, calls and exalts a people faithful and obedient ; for the 
gifts and callings of God are without repentance, always on 
moral and spiritual grounds ; as with Abraham in the 
ancient day : " Abraham shall surely become a great and 
mighty nation, and all nations of the earth shall be blessed 
in him ; for I know him that he will command his children 
and his household after him, and they shall keep the way 
of the Lord to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may 
bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.'' 
Again, the governing principle of our own era and clearly 
evident of God's ancient people, in our own sight : " They 
being ignorant of God's righteousness and going about to 
establish their own righteousness, have not submitted them- 
selves unto the righteousness of God. Because of unbelief 
they were broken off. And they also, if they abide not still 
in unbelief, shall be graffed in : for God is able to graff 
them in again." 

8. How vain are the pretensions and claims that God's 
connection with His Church in these centuries is a mere 
chronological bond ; and that the credentials of the people 
of God must come out of the calendar and almanac ! You 
are the true Church, and the only true Church, if you date 
your visible organization in the first Christian century. In 
tactual line from Melchizedek ; in tactual line from Abra- 
ham, as though God could not from the very stones raise 

The Methodist Church. 235 

up children unto Abraham ; in tactual line from Peter ; in 
tactual line from His Holiness of Rome, or His Grace of 
Canterbury. What a nonsensical clamour ! How often 
God has broken the line to restore the life, and demonstrate 
divine power ! How often man has broken the line in his 
faithlessness and shame ! Dead roots and dead branches are 
cut off to be burned. It is a poor tree that cannot send up 
vigour enough to sprout limb on limb in the upper air. A 
strange vine, indeed, that lifts but one stem, a far reaching 
trunk, it may be, without spreading branch, or twig, or 
flower ! Yet this is the high ecclesiastical assumption : 
" We are the only Church of God, because we alone began 
at the beginning, and alone preserve the unity and continu- 
ity in our beautiful, limbless, branchless, fruitless shaft 
through the centuries. There can be no offshoots from the 
one true Church." What a dethronement cf Christ and 
enthronement of church in His stead is this. Is Christ 
verily dead 1 Did He not live before Abraham 1 Was He 
not the foundation of the prophets? Is He not living to- 
day? And while there may have been epochs of revelation, 
beginnings of economies, decisive acts of government in this 
century or that, cannot an effete Church yet be pulled up 
by the roots and thrown out, and a living Church find root 
by living waters in nutritious soil 1 Or did He only live 
when for a little, in the fulness of time, He descended to 
earth 1 ? Did He at such a juncture give all goodness and 
spiritual power into a few hands, and then, Brahma-like, 
withdraw Himself from the moral world 1 ? 

9. A living Christ in a living Church is the only Biblical 
conception and presentation of the Church of God. Christ 
was before the creation of the world. Christ was in Eden. 
Christ was with Noah and the patriarchs. Christ was with 

236 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

His Church in the wilderness. Christ was with His ancient 
people, and a bright light in their temple. Christ was in 
the incarnation, expiation, resurrection and glorious ascen- 
sion. Christ is in the mediation and everlasting sove- 
reignty, possessed, as of old, of infinite wisdom and power, 
directing His Church, leading and comforting His people, 
unfolding His doctrine, establishing His kingdom, display- 
ing His saving grace and energy, and fulfilling His promises 
by the Holy Ghost from age to age. He is ali\e now, 
almighty, and alive for evermore, and holds the keys of hell 
and death ; able, as ever, in providential government and 
grace, to discipline mankind, to uproot and destroy evil, 
and to plant, establish and fructify good. The true Church 
of to-day is the Church that derives its life and energy from 
this living Christ, and proves this vital connection in bring- 
ing forth the fruits of the spirit — love, joy and goodness, in 
meekness, charity and peace. How vain to boast, " The 
Church of God, the Church of God are we," and then, with 
a spirit of tyranny, assumption and pride, crush and grind 
the masses in ignorance, and even in vice and crime ! How 
unlike Christ, who came to lift up and to save. Yea, how 
true to the mind and way of antichrist, a* ho opposeth 
and exalteth himself above all that is called God ! How 
preposterous to recite and chant, " I believe in the Holy 
Ghost," and then deny the very works of the Holy Ghost in 
regeneration, assurance and sanctification! Epochs of decisive 
divine administrative acts, of divine demonstration, there 
have been ; epochs and acts without which there had been no 
Church. Yet certainly the pre-existent, now existent, 
alway existent, eternal Son of God is not to be wholly 
located in or confined to any one crisis, to any one purpose, 
or its executive completion, no matter how indispensable 

The Methodist Chunk 237 

that covenant and its fulfilment to the great and constantly 
developing scheme of human redemption. 

Christ was the life of the Adamio and Melchizedekan 
Church, of the Abrahamic covenant and Mosaic economy, 
of the Aaron ic dispensation, and that of John the Baptist ; 
as He is also the centre of the Christian system, the spring 
of the Lutheran reformation, and the source of the Wes- 
leyan revival. There is as much vigour in the vine as ever ; 
as much force and vitality in the ever-flowing river. If a 
branch dies, a Church apostatizes, it can be cut off* as well 
as in the time of Moses or of Christ Himself. If one plant 
bring forth the wild grapes, it can be plucked up and a new 
seed dropped by the rivers of water. Methodism may not 
have great age, venerable history, but the Methodist Church 
may still be a true and fruitful branch of the living vine. 
And the Methodist Church has no special charter or 
immunity from the religious compacts and moral constitu- 
tion of the ages. If she is a true branch of the living vine, 
and is so to continue, overcoming all temptations, she must 
abide in the ever-living Christ, and with watchful eye and 
humble and prayerful heart, bring forth the fruits of 
righteousness in honest dealing and godly living. In all 
church law ; in all ecclesiastical forms, provisions and 
arrangements; in all doctrine, discipline and instruction; 
in all sacraments and ordinances, in all usages and enter- 
prises; in all organizations and labour; in all knowledge and 
experience ; in all official management and fraternal 
intercourse ; in mutual affection, humility of mind and 
brotherly regard ; this our one care, this our only security, 
we must abide in Christ. Christ is our life, ns present, as 
positive and as vigorous as ever to the Church of past ages. 
We must die \vi h Him in the baptism of fire, of conseera- 

238 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

tion, if need be, of suffering, that we may rise and live with 
Him by the faith of the operation of God. Losing our 
hold of the present living Christ our glory is departed, as 
surely as if we lose our hold of a past creating, a past 
.itoning Lord and Saviour. In such a light, how appears 
the Methodist Church ? 


Methodism, a child of providence in Britain, seems in the 
counsels of God to have been especially designed for the 
American continent, and for the reflex action of Chris- 
tianity upon Asia, Africa and the Isles of the Sea. In the 
United States, contemporaneous with the American Revo- 
lution, and in Canada, with laying the foundation of the 
British North American autonomy, it has grown with the 
growth and strengthened with the strength of these two 
Anglo-Saxon commonwealths, forming at once very largely 
the national mind in regard to religion, and itself, invigor- 
ated by the spirit of freedom, so congenial to all the insti- 
tutions of the New World. There is a wonderful coincidence 
in the precision of dates, marking in both cases the national 
and ecclesiastical origin. Inspired from on high, these two 
American giants started in their race. In the United 
States, the year 1784 gave the people the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, under the direction of John Wesley, and the 
treaty with Great Britain acknowledging and confirming 
the independence of the Republic. In Canada, the year 
1791 is monumental both as the epoch of the Constitutional 
Act, establishing Upper and Lower Canada as separate 
Provinces, and of the introduction of Methodism in different 
forms both in the east and west. And these different forms, 
through conflict and change, multiplied and strengthened 

The Methodist Church. 239 

in the progress of the country for more than three quarters 
of a century. 

In 1874, after earnest longings for union in all Canadian 
Methodisms, and sincere efforts to secure it, the "Wesley an 
Methodist Church of Canada, the Wesleyan Conference of 
Eastern British America, and the Wesleyan Methodist New 
Connexion Church, united under the name, " The Methodist 
Church of Canada." As all were not ready, there still 
remained apart from this united Church and from each 
other, the Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada, the Primi- 
tive Methodist Church of Canada, the Bible Christian Church 
in Canada, and the German and African Methodists. In 
1880-81, again arose stirrings of heart for the healing of dis- 
sensions and for closer unity in the body of Christ. Ministers 
of the several churches, afflicted in soul by the unseemly 
strife, and by the frequent reproach of the work of God and 
hindrance of its progress, set their hearts upon bringing to- 
gether the various sections of Methodism in this land. 
Their conversations resulted in conventions larger and 
smaller, which shaped public opinion on the question and 
prompted to more definite constitutional action. At the 
General Conferences of 1882 committees were appointed on 
the subject of Methodist Union, to confer with any others 
that might be appointed and jointly to prepare, if possible, 
a basis of union for the consideration of the Churches. 
These committees met first in Hamilton in September of 
1882, and then in November in Toronto, and formulated a 
basis of union, which was sent forward to the various 
Churches for their action. This basis was dealt with by eaeh 
Church respectively, according to its constitution and dis- 
cipline, and adopted by all. Then was called together the 
General Conference of the proposed uniting Churches in 

240 Centgnnial of Canadian Methodism. 

September, 1883, which, under the basis, completed the 
union, adopted the constitution of the united Church, 
enacted its discipline, inaugurated its enterprises, and set 
its machinery in motion. This spiritual and providential 
movement brought together the Methodist Church of Can- 
ada, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, the Bible 
Christian and the Primitive Methodists into " The Metho- 
dist Church." The German- speaking Methodists, known as 
"The Evangelical Association," were not embraced in this 
Union, nor were the African Methodists ; the larger scheme, 
even now somewhat spoken of, awaiting the leadings of 
providence and the development of events. There is yet 
opportunity for enlargement and reorganization, and there 
will be on through the ages. If truth be ever-living, and 
Christ ever-living, no matter when the supreme and indis- 
pensable covenants and executive acts transpire, connection 
should be as easily effected with this living line in this cen- 
tury as in any other, else Christ-life were less than an elec- 
tric cord or submarine cable that can send up its power 
through any attachment. Immobility, unchangeableness in 
policy or polity, is no recommendation or proof of the true 
Church ; but rather immutability of truth and doctrine and 
symmetry and continuity of holy living. It is not to say a 
Church is not a true Church because it arose, or was 
organized, or reorganized in this age or that ; but because it 
has renounced Christian doctrine and lost Christian life. 
Any branch that beareth not fruit shall be cut off. 

From what has been already said of the character and 
growth of the true Church of God, it may be readily inferred 
that if Methodism will bear that description at all, it 
would esteem more highly the inner and spiritual life than 
ai>y outer form. And it may be as readily concluded that 

The Methodist Church. 241 

if the different branches of Methodism before the unions 
spoken of possessed this true spiritual life, there would be a 
marked similarity, if not actual identity, of doctrine as 
based on Holy Scripture, while there might be considerable 
variety in forms of government and modes of administration. 
If any ask why the people of God should differ at all in 
these latter regards, it may be effectually answered that in 
Holy Writ itself, without touching specific divine commands 
on religious life, public or private, and on personal obliga- 
tion and experience, large discretion is allowed as to what 
shall be the relation of ministers and laymen in the govern- 
ment of the Church; what shall be the plans of supplying 
the people with a regular ministry; what shall be the balance 
of connexional and congregational functions, and in what 
series of assemblies and courts ecclesiastical legislation and 
jurisprudence may be vested. Thus far even the most 
hierarchical establishments, with all their struggles for 
an outward uniformity, acknowledge and practise. Such 
questions were rife in the Christian Church of the first 
centuries ; and such questions may be expected to press for 
adjustment, if not for final settlement, wherever spiritual 
life and personal freedom have not been crushed out by the 
iron hand of relentless system and the cruel usurpations of 
godless spiritual pride, all the worse because in the name of 
Cod ; and of inhuman ecclesiastical assumption, all the worse 
because professedly for the good of man. 

Hence we may not be surprised or grieved if early Metho- 
dists, like early Christians, awaking with the throb and 
breath of a new religious life, should differ on how much or 
how Ikt.le laymen should have to do in Church courts and 
Conferences, or on how closely concentrated or broadly 
spread should be tin- govern ng and appointing power of the 

242 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

ministers. There needs be no astonishment that men with 
a new-found spiritual energy, demonstrating itself as divine, 
breaking away from a dead ceremonialism, an evidently 
effete ecclesiasticism, and the terrible substitute for saving 
grace of an enforced civil and legislative conformity, should 
not be in immediate harmony on many matters of polity 
and expediency, a field wherein good men may oppose and 
love. On such grounds divisions arose and, too often, con- 

Of the bodies named above, when the question of uniting 
pressed upon the Churches, it was quickly found that in 
methods of administration there were wide divergencies. 
All had Annual Conferences and District Meetings, Circuit 
Boards and Boards of Trust ; and all had societies and 
classes. But with some the Annual Conferences were com- 
posed wholly of ministers, and were purely administrative ; 
while with others these same Conferences comprised both 
ministers and laymen, and were both legislative and 
executive in character. In the cases where the Annual 
Conferences were purely administrative, the legislative 
power was vested in a Quadrennial General Conference 
made up equally of ministers and laymen. One of the 
bodies had an episcopacy of the Wesley an type, in which 
was vested the stationing power, limited by the advice of a 
travelling presiding eldership. Here, then, were the 
principles of Church government to be reconciled and to 
be incorporated into an acceptable, and if possible, an 
effective polity for the united Church, viz. : (1) The 
autonomy of Annual Conf( re ices and the freedom of min- 
isterial action ; (2) lay representation and the preservation 
of the rights of the laity ; and (3) an efficient supervision 
and satisfactory maintenance of the connexional bond and 

The MetJiodist Church. 2-13 

unity. And this great work appears to have been accom 
plished in love and with the divine approbation. For, as 
will appear from the figures given in this paper, the united 
Church has grown beyond expectation in all departments, 
even to this day. The Conferences were all constituted of 
ministers and laymen ; the Stationing Committee was com- 
posed of ministers alone, and connexional affairs were 
placed under the oversight of a General Superintendency. 
A Quadrennial General Conference was made the legislative 
body, and all other courts of the Church were vested with 
the judicial and executive functions. Thus the connexional 
bond was made strong, while personal and local rights were 
guarded. The great connexional institutions and interests, 
as the Missionary Society, the educational work, the book 
and publishing houses, the Sabbath-school operations, and 
the various connexional funds, still faither secure and 
emphasize the unity of the Church and increase its power. 
Let it but maintain the true spirit and life of Christ in all its 
membership and machinery, in all its operations and 
ordinances, and there is unquestionably before it, with these 
enlarged facilities and power, greater usefulness than even 
that with which the loving Lord has, beyond all our merit 
and of His abounding grace, crowned our unworthy labours 
in the past. 


How shall we put it, Spirit and Doctrine ; or, Doctrine 
and Spirit 1 ! If we come from God down through agencies 
to men, we likely shall say, Spirit and Doctrine ; if we go 
up from men through agencies to God, we likely shall say, 
Doctrine and Spirit. Methodism at its beginning was a 
revival of spiritual and experimental religion, a realization 
and demonstration of divine life in the soul and in the 

244 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Church. To this idea of life and experience in all its divi- 
sions it has ever adhered. Hence, though there have been 
many branches of Methodism, n;any Methodist Churches, 
there has been among them all very little diversity of doc- 
trine ; indeed, we might say, there has been practically no 
diversity of doctrine except as between Wesley himself 
and Whitefield at the start, that is, between the Calvinistic 
and Arminian sections of the movement in its earliest davs. 
In doctrine, there was no appreciable difference whatever 
in Canadian Methodism at any time of its history. When 
the Union Committees and first General Conference came 
to define the doctrinal standards and set the doctrinal guide- 
posts of the United Church, the first chapters of any one of 
the books of Discipline could have been adopted en bloc, as 
that part of the Discipline of the Methodist Church of 
Canada was adopted cordially and unanimously. And as 
the usages in all had grown out of their view and experience 
of the Christian doctrines, and the use and proclamation of 
them, all had their class-meetings and prayer-meetings, 
and similar public worship ; their circuit boards and trust 
boards, their Sabbath-schools and missionary and evangelis- 
tic agencies ; so that their coming together was the ready 
fusion of homogeneous societies, the quick solution and 
admixture of happy affinities. Whatever difficulties arose 
in the consolidation of Canadian Methodism, came more out 
of the works of man than out of the will of God ; out of 
divergencies in polity and government, out of clashing 
interests, institutions and organizations, sometimes the crea- 
tures of necessity, sometimes of strife, and always enlarging 
and multiplying with the accretions of the years. It had 
been easy for the breach to grow wider and wider, had there 
not been the potent doctrinal unity and the esseut-ial 

The Methodist Church. 24."> 

spiritual fraternity. When it came to be seen that the 
very urgency of Methodist evangelism was begetting strife, 
dividing the spiritual forces and lessening the spiritual 
momentum in many neighbourhoods ; building two or three 
churches, or attempting to sustain two or three ministers, 
where one might serve the purpose ; planting two or three 
missions where only one should be attempted ; doubling and 
tripling agencies at unjustifiable expense of men and means; 
which things, and others like them, of course could not be 
seen till they came to pass — -by the occupancy of the whole 
country in the growth of the Churches — this very unity of 
doctrine and spiritual kinship rendered the corporate union 
not only desirable, but readily practicable. Forms, usages 
and agencies could be easily surrendered or adapted, if 
what each considered the essential life and power was fully 

Each held with all evangelical Christian Churches the 
common body of doctrine as to existence and attributes of 
Cod — the Trinity of divine persons in the one Cod, and 
the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; the nature 
of sin and atonement ; the resurrection of the dead and 
the universal judgment ; and the future life in its penalties 
and rewards. And while holding and claiming these essen- 
tial articles of the Christian faith, which might be supposed 
suflicient to bring all Churches together, and would avail 
to brim; them together, were it not for the human additions 
and impositions; all branches of Canadian Methodism, as of 
true Methodism everywhere, emphasized the spiritual, 
personal and experimental doctrines of our holy religion, 
as conviction of sin, true repentance, justifying faith, the 
regeneration of the nature by the Holy Chost, and perfect 
love in the heart and holiness in the life through an all- 

24-6 r Centpinial of Canadian Methodism. 

sufficient atonement by the same Divine Spirit. "Who could 
enjoy the power of such doctrines and remain apart in 
strife? Canadian Methodism, drawn by this inner spiritual 
force, when the times were ripe soon found a basis of union. 
And to God they, united, ascribe the glory. 

The united Church holds fast by these doctrines, and with 
them, through God, expects still to grow and conquer. This 
positive knowledge of sin, conviction of sin by the Holy 
Ghost, is known to be indispensable to a true repentance, a 
hearty loathing of sin and a resistless determination by the 
grace of God to escape its defilement, its dominion and its 
danger. How shall men seek pardon, but under a sense of 
guilt ; cleansing, except they know their pollution 1 This 
true repentance, this sense of helplessness, vileness and 
impending ruin, must precede personal saving faith ; so that 
a man may flee to Christ and to Him alone. This appre- 
hending of Christ in simple trust is the one condition of 
pardon ; and pardon, the logical and essential antecedent to 
regeneration and adoption; which again, in the divine order, 
precede the entire sanctification by the Holy Ghost, and the 
inworking and indwelling of perfect love. These are 
experiences, these are realizations of the believer, these are 
demonstrations of the power of God. The character that 
in His purpose and covenant He foreknew, He predesti- 
nated to be conformed to the image of His Son. Whom He 
predestinated, He called ; whom He called, He justified ; 
whom He justified, He glorified. The divine order in pur- 
pose and covenant is steadfast and unalterable, that we who 
first and foremost trust in Christ are predestinated accord- 
ing to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the 
counsel of His own will, that we should be to the praise of 
His glory. We trusted after we heard the word of truth, 

The Methodist Church: 247 

and we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise after 
we trusted or believed. For faith cometh by hearing, and 
hearing by the word of God. For the Scripture saith, 
" Whosoever belie veth on Him shall not be ashamed." 
"And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life 
freely." With these grand old doctrines of a covenanted, 
experienced salvation offered to all— a salvation free, full, 
present, perfect and eternal, Methodism has won its way 
till now. It was the genius of these doctrines that swej>t 
the various divisions into a united Church. It is the 
spirit and life of these doctrines — salvation from all sin 
now, clear assurance thereof, and the consequent baptism of 
fire — that we must preserve if we are to advance to victory. 
These are the consecration doctrines, the missionary doc- 
trines, the doctrines of holiness and power, which we must 
sacredly guard, unceasingly promote and boldly proclaim, if 
w« are to maintain the character and fruitfulness of a 
living Church, a living branch of the living vine. 


The first General Conference of the Methodist Church, 
composed of ministerial and lay representatives of the four- 
uniting Churches, held in Belleville, in the month of Sep- 
tember, 1883, in accordance with the provisions of the Basis 
of Union, was a solemn and historic assembly. Men who 
had strenuously opposed union, and men who had vigorously 
advocated it, were upon the floor with a purpose that, now 
it had been decreed, to make it successful. Men who did 
not want to take the responsibility themselves rejoiced that 
others had done so. The opening prayers, by Rev. Dr. 
Gardiner, who had promoted the movement, and by Rev. 
IV. Williams, who had earnestly resisted it, were attended 

248 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

with great power in the demonstration of the Spirit, and all 
hearts were melted in the overflowings of divine love. 
Devotion to God and His Church, what is now the best tiling 
for the common Methodism, was evidently the pervading 
and ruling thought of the Conference. Differences sank 
out of sight ; and while principles were guarded and main- 
tained, when mutual concessions could open the way to 
brotherliness, peace, and spiritual power, they were, as a 
rule, cheerfully made. This very peace was a realization of 
the Saviour's promise to His people, was regarded as a 
divine approbation of the Union so happily consummated, 
and a pledge of better things to come. Where there had 
been forebodings of ill and great fears, the spirit of conse- 
cration came upon the Church, and the cheering outlook of 
faith and hope. The steady increase of the years and the 
quadrenniums in all departments of the work is accepted 
as the loving attestation of the good pleasure of our Hea- 
venly Father, and the evident occasion of increasing grati- 
tude and humility on the part of all our people. 

The following figures show, in small part, the returns of 
the several uniting Churches to the General Conference of 
1883 : The Methodist Church of Canada had at the time of 
the Union 1,216 ministers, 128,644 members, 2,202 
churches, valued at $4,438,435; 646 parsonages, valued at 
$712,906; 1,968 Sabbath schools, with 132,320 scholars, 
besides the Connexional educational institutions and ex- 
tended missions at home and abroad. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada returned 
259 ministers, 25,671 members, 545 churches, valued at 
$1,314,204; 126 parsonages, valued at $113,110; 432 Sab- 
bath-schools with 23,968 scholars, as also missions and 
educational institutions. The Primitive Methodist Church 

The Methodist Church. 249 

had 89 ministers, 8,090 members, 230 churches, 50 parson- 
ages, 152 Sabbath-schools, with 9,050 scholars. The Bible 
Christian Church gave in 79 ministers, 7,398 members, 181 
churches, 55 parsonages, 155 Sabbath-schools, with 9,690 

Thus the total membership of the United Church at its 
start in 1883, was 169,803, with 1,643 ministers, 3,158 
churches, 877 parsonages, 2,707 Sabbath-schools and 175,052 
scholars. The churches and parsonages were valued at 
$9,130,897. These figures do not include the connexionai 
property in missions, superannuation fund, book and pub- 
lishing establishments, and universities and colleges, which 
would run up to about $5,000,000 more. At the General 
Conference of 1886, there were returned 197,479 members, 
and in 1890, 233,868. In scholars in the Sabbath-school, 
the summary for 1886 gave 191,185, and for 1890, 226,050. 
Church property and other statistical items have kept pace 
in their proper ratio with this increase in membership and 
the attendance upon the Sunday-schools. 

From this, it is at once evident that because of the Union 
the revival power has not left the Church. An increase 
of 64,000, or 38 per cent, in our membership in seven 
years, in a country like ours, with a comparatively small 
population, and with many other active Churches, by the 
grace of Cod, winning their share, is indeed reason of joy 
and gratitude to God. It was feared, as did to a small 
extent transpire, that some of the membership of the 
former Churches would not consent to the roll-call after 
Union, but would transfer themselves to other communions 
Quite a number fell out of the ranks and joined the Salva- 
tion Army, which possibly had in this regard, as in others, 
a providential mission. Yet so decisive was the increase, 

250 Centennial of Canadian Methodisi7i. 

that some minds accepted it as a proof of the divine sanc- 
tion, and rejoiced after trembling in the work wrought. 
Nor was the spirit of liberality diminished. The Mission 
Fund increased year by year, and never was stronger than 
to-day. The schools and colleges have been fully sustained 
and considerably enlarged and improved. The publishing 
interests have grown to grand proportions ; churches and 
parsonages have been increased and beautified, and nearly 
all funds strengthened up to demand. So, in humble trust 
in God, the outlook is eminently cheering. The one thing 
required is the perpetuated and intensified spiritual life. 

The General Conference of 1883 laid out the territory 
occupied by the Church into ten Annual Conferences. 
Since that date two others, British Columbia and Japan, 
have been organized. At the same date the papers and 
printing establishments of the several uniting Churches so 
far as they had them, were merged in the Book and Pub- 
lishing House of the Methodist Church of Canada, on King 
Street, Toronto. In 1889, the noble and commodious 
structure on Richmond Street, erected at an expense of 
nearly $120,000, was first occupied ; and now the book and 
publishing business and the connexional offices have accom- 
modations and facilities of the highest order. 

The term betwixt the General Conferences of 1886 and 
1890 is declared by the Book Committee to have been "one 
of enlargement, extension and general prosperity." Also in 
the Educational Work a great change has been affected. 
The General Conference of 1886 determined upon the 
federation of Victoria University with the University of 
Toronto, under the provisions of an Act of the Legislature 
of Ontario in that behalf. As this had not been accom- 
plished at the time of the General Conference of 1890, this 

The Methodist Church. 251 

last Conference took decisive measures for the prosecution 
of the work, which, under the hand of the Board of Regents, 
is now vigorously in progress. The Mount Allison Uni- 
versity, in the Eastern Provinces, prospers abundantly upon 
the old foundations. The call and qualification of men for 
the sacred ministry is energetic and effective as ever hitherto 
in the Church • and the Theological Schools at Cobourg, 
Montreal and Sackville, are making an unmistakable impress 
upon the Church, and aiming more and more to be centres 
of sound learning and divine power. The education of 
women has received the most earnest attention and liberal 
support of the Church ; and the Ladies' Colleges at Hamil- 
ton, St. Thomas, Whitby and Sackville, and the successful 
co-educational Schools at Belleville, Stanstead and St. 
John's, Newfoundland, are raising a generation of mentally 
and morally disciplined womanhood that, in alliance with 
similar achievements elsewhere, must even revolutionize the 
means and methods of Christian toil, and stir the whole 
world with a new and heavenly impulse. What w ith the 
organization of sisterhoods, the* promotion of Epworth 
Leagues, the operations of Collegiate Missionary Societies, 
and the splendid results of the Woman's Missionary move- 
ment, the Church has surely agencies and enterprises to 
exercise her talent and develop her resources under the 
leadership of Jesus Christ. Only this our anxiety and 
prayer, that she live by the true Spiritual life and abide 
constantly therein. 



By Rev. Alexander Sutherland, D.D. 

IT is often said that the Church of Christ is essentially 
missionary. The saying is trite but true. The great 
purpose for which the Church is organized is to "preach the 
Gospel to every creature," and its mission is fultilled only 
in so far as this is done. But, as commonly used, the say 
ing is the recognition of a principle rather than the state- 
ment of a fact. It is clearly perceived that the Church 
ought to be intensely missionary in spirit and practice, and 
this view is often pressed as an argument to quicken flag- 
ging zeal and to revive, if possible, the apostolic spirit in the 
Church of to-day. Compared with apostolic times, mission- 
ary zeal and enterprise is yet below high-water mark ; but 
compared with the state of affairs one hundred years ago, it 
cannot be said that the former times were better than these. 
Within the century — indeed, within the last two or three 
decades— there has brena marvellous revival of the mission- 
ary spirit. The sleep of the Church has been broken. Her 
dormant energies have been aroused. An aggressive policy 
has been declared. Responsibility, even to the measure of 
a world-wide evangelism, is freely acknowledged, and the 
disposition to consecrate men and money on the altar of 

254 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

missionary sacrifice grows apace. All this gives token of a 
coming day in' the not distant future when it may be affirmed 
without qualification that the Church — in fact as well as 
in profession — is essentially missionary. 

It may be claimed, without boasting or exaggeration, 
that Methodism has not only contributed somewhat to the 
revival of the missionary spirit, but has been, under God, 
a chief factor in promoting it. The place of her nativity 
was hard by the missionary altar, and a spirit of intense 
evangelism gave the first impluse to her work. Born anew 
amid the fervours of a second Pentecost, her first preachers 
were men baptized with the tongues of flame, symbol of a 
comprehensive evangelism that found expression in the 
motto of her human leader, " The World is my Parish." In 
the spirit of that motto Methodism has lived and laboured, 
and after the lapse of more than a hundred years the primi- 
tive impulse is still unspent. Wherever the Banner of the 
Cross is unfurled, Methodist missionaries are found in the 
van of the advancing hosts, and the battle cry of the legions 
is "The World for Christ." 

The beginnings of Methodism in Canada reveal the same 
providential features that marked its rise in other lands. 
Here, as elsewhere, it was the child of Providence. No 
elaborate plans were formulated in advance. No forecast- 
ings of human wisdom marked out the lines of development. 
But men who had felt the constraining power of the love of 
Christ, and to whom the injunction to disciple all nations 
came with the force of a divine mandate, went forth at the 
call of God, exhorting men everywhere to repent and believe 
the Gospel. Out of that flame of missionary zeal sprang the 
Methodist Church of this country ; and if the missionary 
cause to-day is dear to the hearts of her people, it is but the 

The Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 255 

legitimate outcome of the circumstances in which she had 
her birth. Methodism is a missionary Church, or she is 
nothing. To lose her missionary spirit is to be recreant to 
the great purpose for which God raised her up. Nor can 
she give to missions a secondary place in her system of 
operations without being false to her traditions and to her 
heaven appointed work. 

While Methodism in Canada was, from the very first, 
missionary in spirit and aims, what may be called organ- 
ized missionary effort did not begin till 18*24. In that year 
a Missionary Society was formed. It was a bold movement, 
such as could have been inaugurated only by heaven- 
inspired men. Upper Canada (at that time ecclesiastically 
distinct from Lower Canada) was just beginning to emerge 
from its wilderness condition. Settlements were few and, 
for the most part, wide asunder. Population was sparse, 
and the people were poor. Moreover, Methodism had not 
yet emerged from the position of a despised sect, and preju- 
dice was increased by the fact that it was under foreign 
jurisdiction. Such a combination of unfavourable circum- 
stances might well have daunted ordinary men, and led to 
a postponement of any effort to organize for aggressive 
missionary work. "But there were giants in the earth in 
those days," whose faith and courage were equal to every 
emergency ; men who could read history in tin; germ, and 
forecast results when "the wilderness and the solitary 
place" should become "glad," and "the desert" should 
"rejoice, and blossom as the rose." As yet it was early 
spring-time, and sowing had only just begun; but from 
freshly-opened furrows and scattered seed those men were 
able to foretell both the kind and the measure of the liar 
vest when falling showers and shining suns should ripen 

256 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

and mature the grain. In that faith they planned an 1 
laboured. They did not despise the day of small things, but 
with faith in the " incorruptible seed," they planted and 
watered, leaving it to God to give the increase. In this, as 
in other cases, wisdom was justified of her children. When 
the Missionary Society was organized, in 1824, two or three 
men were trying to reach some of the scattered bands of 
Indians ; the income of the Society the first year was only 
about $140, and the field of operation was confined to what 
was then known as Upper Canada. To day the missionary 
force represents a little army of more than a thousand per- 
sons (including the wives of missionaries). The income 
exceeds $220,000, while the field covers half a continent, 
and extends into " the regions beyond." 

The development of the missionary idea in the Methodist 
Church in Canada has been influenced by epochs in her 
history, marking changes in her ecclesiastical polity. In 
1828, the Canadian Societies were severed from the juris- 
diction of the Church in the United States, and formed 
into an independent branch of Methodism, with its own 
conference and government. In 1832 a union was formed 
with the English Wesleyan Conference, whereby the field of 
operation was extended ; but, unfortunately, this movement 
was followed by a division in the Church itself, which con- 
tinued until the great union movement of 1883 obliterated 
all lines of separation and reunited the divided family. 
Again, in 1840, the union with the English Wesley ans 
was broken, and for seven years the two societies waged a 
rival warfare, which was by no means favourable to the 
growth of true missionary spirit. This breach was healed 
in 1847, and from that time onward the missionary work 
of the Church steadily developed, embracing the Wesleyan 

The Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 2 -"7 

Indian Missions in the far north, establishing a new mission 
in British Columbia, and extending the home work in all 
directions throughout the old Provinces of Upper and 
Lower Canada. 

The year 1873 marks a distinct epoch in the history ot 
missions in connection with Canadian Methodism In that 
year the bold step, as some considered it, was taken of 
founding a distinctively foreign mission, and many indica- 
tions pointed to Japan as a promising field. The wisdom of 
the step was doubted by many, who thought the home work 
sufficiently extensive to absorb the energies and liberality 
of the entire Church. Viewed from the standpoint of mere 
human prudence, the objectors were right. The home 
missionaries were struggling along with very inadequate 
stipends; many Indian tribes were still unreached; the 
calls from new settlements in our own country were loud 
and frequent, and the vast French population of the Pro- 
vince of Quebec was scarcely touched by Methodist agencies. 
Under such circumstances, it is not to be wondered at that 
some were inclined to say : " We have here only five barley 
loaves and two small fishes, but what are they among so 
many 1 ?" But there were others who remembered the 
lesson of the "twelve baskets of fragments" taken up after 
five thousand men, besides women and children, had been 
fed ; and these said : " Let us have faith in God ; let us 
bring our little at His command, and with Christ's conse- 
crating blessing our little will multiply until there will be 
enough to feed the hungry multitude, and the Church shall 
be recompensed far beyond the measure of what it gives 
away." And so in faith and prayer the forward move 
meat was inaugurated, and a mission planted in .Japan 
which, from the very beginning, has shared largely in bless 

258 CeiUennial of Canadian Methodism. 

ings from on high. Nor did the home missions suffer 
because of this new departure, for the missionary spirit 
thus revived in the Church was followed by a correspond- 
ing liberality, and the increased contributions more than 
sufficed to meet the increased expenditure. 

The next development affecting the polity and work of 
the Church occurred in 1874, when the Wesleyan Methodist 
Church, the Methodist New Connexion Church, and th s 
Wesleyan Church of Eastern British America, united in 
one body under the name of The Methodist Church in 
Canada. This union extended the Home Missions of the 
Church by consolidating the forces east and west, thus 
covering the whole extent of the Canadian Dominion, and 
embracing in addition, Newfoundland and the Bermudas. 
This arrangement involved the peaceful separation of the 
three churches named from the jurisdiction of the Wesleyan 
body in England, and the relinquishment, after a few 
years, of certain missionary subsidies which they had been 
in the habit of receiving from the parent treasuries. The 
loss of these subsidies and the increased expenditure in con- 
sequence of unavoidable readjustments of the work, caused 
temporary embarrassment and the accumulation of a some- 
what serious debt ; but an appeal to the Church met with 
so liberal a response, that the debt was extinguished with- 
out reducing the regular income, and the work went on as 
before. It was felt, however, that, for a time at least, the 
duty of the Church would lie in the direction of consolida- 
tion rather than expansion, and hence for several years no 
new movement was made beyond the prudent enlargement 
of fields already occupied. 

The missionary spirit which for years had been growing 
in the Methodist Church, found a new outlet in 1880 in 

The Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 259 

the Tganizafcion of the Woman's Missionary Society. In 
June of that year a number of ladies met in the parlours of 
the Centenary Church, Hamilton, at the invitation of the 
General Missionary Secretary, when the project was carefully 
considered and the conclusion reached to organize forth- 
with. That afternoon meeting marks the beginning of what 
promises to become one of the most potent forces in connec- 
tion with the mission work of the Methodist Church. Nor 
can a thoughtful observer fail to see how Divine Providence 
controlled the time as well as the circumstances. The 
Union movement, which culminated in 1883, was first 
beginning to be discussed. Four distinct Churches were 
proposing to unite, but whether it would be possible so to 
amalgamate their varied interests as to make of the f out- 
one new Church, was a problem that remained to be solved 
In the accomplishment of this difficult task, the mission work 
of the Church was a prime factor, for it served by its mag- 
nitude and importance to turn the attention of ministers and 
people from old differences and even antagonisms, and to fix 
it upon a common object. What the work of the present 
Society did for one part of the Church, the woman's move- 
ment did for another. Just at the right moment Providence 
gave the signal, and the godly and devoted women of Meth- 
odism in all the uniting Churches joined hands in an 
earnest effort to carry the Gospel to the women and 
children of heathendom, and in that effort they mightily 
aided to consolidate the work at home. The constitution 
for a Connexional Society was not adopted till 1881, but 
in the nine years following, the income has risen from 
$2,916.78 in 1881-2, to $25,560.76 in 1889-90. At the 
present time seventeen lady missionaries are in the employ 
of the Society, and decision has been reached to semi 

2G0 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

pioneers to China in connection with the onward movement 
of the parent Society. 

It was thought at one time that the union of 1874 would 
have included all the Methodist bodies in Canada, as all 
were represented at a preliminary meeting held in 
Toronto. This expectation was not realized, owing to the 
retirement of several of the bodies from subsequent negotia- 
tions ; but the discussions which took place, no less than 
the beneficial results of the union itself, created a desire for 
union on a more extended scale. This desire was greatly 
strengthened by the famous Methodist Ecumenical Confer- 
ence, which met in London in 1881, and at the next Gen- 
eral Conference of the Methodist Church in Canada distinct 
proposals were presented, and negotiations initiated with 
other Methodist bodies. It is not necessary in this paper 
to present a detailed history of the movement. Suffice it to 
say that, in 1883, a union embracing the Methodist, Meth- 
odist Episcopal, Primitive Methodist and Bible Christian 
Churches in Canada, was consummated, and the impressive 
spectacle presented of a« consolidated Methodism — one in 
faith, in discipline and usages — with a held of home oper- 
ations extending from Newfoundland to Vancouver, and 
from the international boundary to the Arctic circle. The 
union did not actually extend the area formerly embraced 
by the uniting Churches, but it involved extensive readjust- 
ments of the work, increased greatly the number of workers, 
and, for a time, necessitated increased expenditure. The 
income, however, showed corresponding growth, and 
although stipends remained at low-water mark, no retro- 
grade step was taken. 

As at present organized, the mission work of the Metho- 
dist Church embraces five departments, uamely : — Domestic, 

The Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 201 

Indian, French, Chinese and Foregn. All these are under 
the supervision of one Board, and are supported by one 
fund. Each department, in view of its importance, claims 
a separate reference. 


Under this head is included all Methodist Missions to 
English-speaking people throughout the Dominion, in New- 
foundland and the Bermudas. From the very inception of 
missionary operations, the duty of carrying the Gospel and 
its ordinances to the settlers in every part of the country, 
has been fully recognized and faithfully performed. Indeed, 
this was the work to which the Church set herself at the 
beginning of the century, before missionary work, in the 
more extended sense, had been thought of. At that time 
the population was sparse and scattered. Of home comforts 
there was little, and of wealth there was none, but the 
tireless itinerant, unmoved by any thought of gain or tem- 
poral reward, traversed the wilderness of Ontario and of the 
Maritime Provinces, often guided only by a "blaze" on the 
trees or by the sound of the woodman's axe, and in rough 
new school-houses, in the cabins of frontier settlers, or 
beneath shady trees on some improvised camp ground, pro- 
c'amied the message of reconciling mercy to guilty men. 
No wonder that their message was listened to with eager- 
ness, and often embraced with rapture. Many of the 
settlers had, in early life, enjoyed religious privileges in 
lands far away, and these welcomed again the glad sound 
when heard in their new homes ; while others who, under 
more favourable circumstances, had turned a deaf ear to the 
(Inspel message, were touched with unwonted tenderness as 
they listened to the fervid appeals of some itinerant preacher 

262 Centennial of Canadian Methodism 

amid the forest solitudes. Thus, by night and by day, was 
the seed scattered which, since then, has ripened into a 
golden harvest. And if a time shall ever come when 


truthful history of the English-speaking Provinces of the 
Canadian Dominion shall be written, the historian, as he 
recounts and analyzes the various forces that have con- 
tributed to make the inhabitants of these Provinces the 
most intelligent, moral, prosperous and happy people beneath 
the sun, he will give foremost place to the work of the old 
saddle-bag itinerants who traversed the country when it 
was comparatively a wilderness, educating the people in that 
reverence for the Word and worship of God which is alike 
the foundation of a pure morality and the safeguard of 
human freedom. 

When the Missionary Society was organized, and its 
income began to grow, the Church was in a position to 
carry on its home work more systematically, and to extend 
that work far beyond its original limits. The constant 
changes taking place in the status of these Home Fields, as 
they rise from the condition of dependent missions to that of 
independent circuits, renders any comprehensive numerical 
statement impossible. Suffice it to say, that at the present 
time there are 408 Home Missions, with 371 missionaries, 
and an aggregate membership of 39,724, and on these is 
expended about 42J per cent, of the Society's income. The 
outlook for this department is hopeful and inspiring. The 
opening up of our magnificent North- West, with a teeming 
population in piospect, presents a grand field for remunera- 
tive mission work which the Church will do well to improve, 
and she needs no higher aim than to repeat in the New 
Territories the salient features of the religious history of 

The Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 263 


This department of mission work has always shared largely 
in the sympathy of the Church and of the Mission Board ; 
and although it has made but little return, in kind, for the 
large sums expended, yet in spiritual results the Church has 
been amply repaid. In British Columbia, as the direct 
result of missionary effort, tribal wars have entirely ceased, 
heathen villages have been transformed into Christian com- 
munities, and the gross immoralities of the dance and the 
"potlatch" have given place to assemblies for Christian 
instruction and sacred song. In the North-West similar 
results have been achieved, and it has been demonstrated 
that the advancement of the native tribes in intelligence, in 
morality, in loyalty, in the arts and refinements of civilized 
life, keeps even step with the progress of Christian missions. 
Very significant is the fact that during the revolt among 
certain Indians and Half-breeds in the North- West, not one 
member or adherent of the Methodist Church among the 
Indians was implicated in the disturbances ; and it is now 
generally acknowledged that the unswerving loyalty of the 
Christian Indians — notably of Chief Pakan and his people 
at Whitefish Lake — contributed more than any other cir- 
cumstance to prevent a general uprising of the Cree nation. 
In Ontario, results in recent years have not been so marked 
as in British Columbia and the North West, owing to the 
fact that most of the bands are now in a fairly civilized 
state, and there is but little in outward circumstances to 
distinguish the work from that among the whites. An 
important feature of the Indian work at the present time is 
the establishment of Industrial Institutes, where Indian 
youth are instructed in various forms of industry suited to 
their age and sex. The Institute at Muncey, Ont., has over 

264 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

eighty pupils, and is in process of enlargement to accommo- 
date 120 ; in Manitoba and at Reed Deer two Institutes are 
in process of erection ; an Orphanage and Training-school 
has been in operation for some time at Morley ; and a 
Boarding-school at Chilliwhack, and a Girls' Home at Port 
Simpson, are under the control of the Woman's Missionary 
Society. Statistics of the Indian work for 1890 give the 
following results : — Missions, 47 ; missionaries, 35 ; native 
assistants, 17; teachers, 26; interpreters, 13; members, 
4,264. The expenditure for the same year amounted to 
about 23 per cent, of the Society's income. 


In the Province of Quebec there is a French-speaking 
population of a million and a quarter, and these, with the 
exception of a few thousands, are adherents of the most 
solid, thoroughly-organized and aggressive type of Romanism 
to be found in all the world. The Church is virtually 
endowed, can collect its tithes and levy its church-building 
rates by law. Education is controlled by the Bishops, and 
the whole machinery is used to maintain the use of the 
French language and inculcate a French national spirit. 
Evangelical truth is a thing almost unknown. Such a 
population in the heart of the Dominion, under such con- 
trol, is a standing menace to representative government and 
free institutions, and this consideration, no less than a sin- 
cere desire for the spiritual enlightenment of the people, has 
led the various Protestant Churches to make some effort to 
spread the Gospel among them. So far as Methodist 
Missions are concerned, numerical results have been small, 
and the missions do not present features as encouraging as 
are to be found in other departments. But it should be 
borne in mind that the difficulties to be surmounted aie 

Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 2G5 

greater than in any other field, and that there are causes 
for the comparatively small numerical increase which do 
not exist elsewhere. Neither in the Domestic, the Indian, 
or even the Foreign work do civil or social disabilities follow 
a profession of faith in Christ ; but in the Province of 
Quebec a renunciation of Romanism is the signal for a series 
of petty persecutions, and a degree of civil and social 
ostracism, which many have not the nerve to endure, and 
which usually results in their emigration from the Province. 
The difficulty of reaching the people by direct evangelistic 
effort, led the Missionary Board to adopt the policy of 
extending its educational work. In pursuance of this 
policy a site was secured in a western suburb of Montreal, 
and a building erected capable of accommodating 100 resi- 
dent pupils. About seventy pupils are already in atten- 
dance, and the future is bright with promise. The amount 
expended on the French work, including the Institute, is 
only about 3| per cent, of the Society's income. 


During the past quarter of a century vast numbers of 
Chinese have landed on the Pacific Coast of the American 
continent, of these not a few have found temporary homes in 
British Columbia. At the time when the Rev. William 
Pollard had charge of the British Columbia District some 
attempt was made to reach the Chinese by establishing a 
school among them in Victoria, but after a few years the 
enterprise was abandoned. In 1884, Mr. John Dillon, a 
merchant of Montreal, visited British Columbia on busi- 
ness. His heart was stirred by the spiritually destitute 
condition of the Chinese, especially in Victoria, and he at 
once wrote to a member of the Board of Missions inquir- 

266 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

ing if something could not be done. The matter was con- 
sidered at the next Board meeting, and it was decided to 
open a mission in Victoria as soon as a suitable agent 
could be found. In the following spring, 1885, by a 
remarkable chain of providences, the way was fully opened, 
and a mission begun which has since extended to other 
places in the Province, and has been fruitful of good 
results. Commodious mission buildings have been erected 
in Victoria and Vaucouver, schools established in both these 
cities and in New Westminster, many converts have been 
received by baptism, and the foundation of a spiritual 
church laid among these strangers " from the land of 
Sinim," which gives promise of permanence and growth. A 
valuable adjunct is found in the Chinese Girls' Rescue Home, 
established in Victoria, and now managed by the Woman's 
Missionary Society. At the present writing the statistics 
of the Chinese Mission are : — Missions, 3 ; missionaries, 3 ; 
teachers, 6; members, 112. 


The most conspicuous and decided onward movement of 
the Methodist Church on missionary lines took place when 
it was decided to open a mission in Japan. But the faiih 
and courage of those who urged the venture have been 
fully vindicated by the results. Since the inception of the 
work in 1873, its growth has been steady and permanent, 
while the reflex influence upon the Church at home has 
been of the most beneficial kind. The missionary spirit 
has been greatly intensified, liberality has increased, and 
the Church is looking for new fields and wider conquests. 
In 1889 it was found that the growth of the work in 
Japan had been such as to necessitate reorganization, with 

Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 267 

an increased measure of autonomy. Accordingly an 
Annual Conference was formed, which now embraces four 
districts, with 19 distinct fields, besides numerous outposts. 
In Tokyo there is an academy for young men, and a 
theological school for the training of native candidates for 
the ministry ; while the Woman's Missionary Society 
maintains flourishing schools for girls in Tokyo, Shizuoka 
and Kofu. General statistics of the Japan work are as 
follows: — Missions, 19; missionaries, 24; native evangel- 
ists, 27; teachers, 14; members, 1,686. 

This brief statement respecting the foreign work of the 
Church would be imperfect without some reference to the 
action of last year, looking to the establishment of a new 
foreign mission in China. For several years leading men 
in the Church had been asking if the time had not arrived 
when the Church should survey the vast field of heathendom 
with a view of extending the work " into the regions 
beyond." The suggestion took practieal shape at the 
General Conference of 1890, when the project of a new 
foreign mission was favourably ci in mended to the Geneial 
Board of Missions, with power to take such action as 
might seem advisable. When the question came up in the 
General Board, it became evident that the suggestion was 
not premature. With practical unanimity the Board 
affirmed the desirableness of at once occupying new ground, 
and as a remarkable series of providences seemed to point 
toward China, the Committee of Finance was authorized 
to take all necessary steps to give effect to the decision of 
the Board. It may be regarded as a settled matter that 
during the present summer the vanguard of our missionary 
army will enter the Flowery Kingdom. 

Enough has now been said to show that the Methodist 

268 Centefinial of Canadian Methodism. 

Church of Canada, in its origin, history and traditions, is 
" essentially missionary ; " that its providential mission, in 
co-operation with other branches of Methodism, is to 
"spread scriptural holiness over the world." If the spirit 
of this mission is maintained her career will be one of 
ever-widening conquest. If it is suffered to decline, Ichabod 
will be written upon her ruined walls. 

For purposes of reference the following tables will be 
found useful : — 

Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 269 












CO . 

< n 



CS 00 









> CS 











Domkst'C Missions — 

Toronto Conference 

London Conference 

Niagara Conference 

Guelph Conference 

Bay of Quinte Conference 

Montreal Conference 

Manitoba and North- West Conference. .. 

British Columbia Conference 

Nova Scotia Conference 

New Brunswick and P. E. I. Conference. 
Newfoundland Conference 

Indian Missions — 

Toronto Conference 

London Conference 

Niagara Conference 

Guelph Conference 

Bay of Quinte Conference 

Montreal Conference ... 

Manitoba and North -West Conference 
British Columbia Conference 

Frrncii Missions— 
Montreal Conference, 

Ciiinksb Missions — 
British Columbia Conference 

Foreign Missions— 
Japan Conference . 

Grand Total 





















• ' 

































• • 



















270 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 




Increase. Decrease. 

Subscriptions and Collections $166551 03 .... $1918 75 

Juvenile Offerings 28122 39 ~ 

Legacies 7335 11 

Donations on Annuity 5000 00 

Indian Department 10822 67 

Miscellaneous 2195 23 

$270 77 


2626 11 

■ • • ■ 

4000 00 

• • 

1417 69 

855 20 

Total Income $220026 43 $91«9 77 $4918 75 

Net Increase 425102 .... 


Domestic Work $83834 55 .... §3759 88 

Indian Work 48110 • 1 .... 398 26 

French Work 8292 55 .... 215 87 

Chinese Work 3659 43 $369 28 

Foreign Work— Japan 2,503 50 3516 04 .... 

Special Grants for Purchase, Erection or Repair of 

Mission Property, etc 7176 33 2937 06 

Affliction and Supply 1846 83 6 5 33 

Superannuated Missionaries 4900 00 

District Chairmen's Expenses 105!61 1131 

Circuit Expenses 3'.-31 58 .... 20 76 

Annuities 1226 00 376 50 

Interest, Discounts 3345 27 .. 228 48 

Publishing Charges 4863 6 i 259 97 

Travelling Expenses 2108 95 .... 1836 93 

Conference C-mmitteet' and Treasurers' Expenses. . 733 83 .... 1 3 t5 

Superintendent of Missions, N.W.T 1600 00 .... 

Salaries 5100 00 100 00 

Rent, Postage, Telegrams, Clerk-hire, Printing, etc. 2196 03 .... 808 84 

Total Expenditure $211482 78 $8194 18 $7403 38 

Net Increase 790 SO 

Surplus 8543 65 .... .... 

Methodist Church in Relation to Missions. 271 




cts. mills. 

Domestic Missions 38 1 

Indian Missions 21 9 

French Missions 3 7 

Chinese Missions 1 7 

Japan Missions 12 5 

Mission Premises 3 2 

Affliction and Supply 9 

Superannuated Missionaries 2 2 

Circuit Expenses 5 

District Chairmen's Expenses 1 7 

Annuities, in consideration of Donations 6 

Interest, Discounts, etc 1 5 

Publishing Charges (Annual Reports, Rewa'd Books for Juvenile C 1- 

lectors), etc 2 2 

Travelling Expenses 1 

Conference Committees' and Treasurers' Expenses 4 

Superintendent of North-West Missions 8 

Salaries 2 3 

Rent, Postage, Telegrams, Stationery, Clerk-hire, etc 1 

Surplus 3 8 

100 00 



By the Rev. W. H. Withkow, D.D. 

IT has sometimes been asserted that Methodism is 
unliterary in its character. That depends on what 
is meant by literary. If one means devotion to the techni- 
cal niceties of scholarship, to the preparation of books on 
Greek verbs in mi, or on the middle voice, or on the dative 
case, we may, in part, admit the charge. Methodism has 
not had at her command the sinecure fellowships, the rich 
endowments and the opportunities for learned leisure that 
encourage devotion to such minutiae of scholarship. Her 
writers, for the most part, have been hard-working preachers, 
whose first and all-important work was the ministry of the 
Word, the edifying of the saints, the upbuilding of the 
Church of God. 

But notwithstanding this consecration to a higher work 
than the writing of books, she has no reason to be ashamed 
of her achievements in the latter regard. She has not been 
unmindful of her birth in the first university in Europe, nor 
of the fact that her early teachers and preachers were 
among the most scholarly and learned men of their age. 
John Wesley's many scores of volumes are a proof of his 
literary industry, and the fact that many of them were con- 
densations of costly tomes into cheap hand books for the 

274 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

people, gives the key-note to the character of Methodist liter- 
ary enterprise. It wrote not for the favoured few, who could 
command wealth and leisure, but chiefly for the toiling 
millions, who could command neither one nor the other. It 
was to bring home to the poor man's business and bosom the 
words of life — the words that could make him wise unto 
salvation — that the countless tracts and books from the 
Methodist press were scattered like leaves in autumn ; 
leaves which, like those of the tree of life, shall be for the 
healing of the nations. 

In his saddle bags, with his Bible and hymn-book, the 
early itinerant took to remotest and poorest hamlets, where 
other literature was almost unknown, the books which fed 
the new convert's hunger of the soul. Not that all the early 
literature of Methodism was devotional. There was need 
of strong, keen, trenchant, logical, controversial writings, to 
defend the doctrines of grace from the fierce attacks made 
upon them ; and of Scripture commentaries, institutes of 
systematic theology, books of classical learning, and studies 
for the training of the new Christian militia for aggressive 
Christian war. 

In two respects early Methodist literature was unique. 
The first was its outburst of devotional poetry, especially 
that of Charles Wesley, the like of which the world had 
never seen before. On the wings of sacred song the glad 
truths of salvation found their way throughout the land and 
to the ends of the earth. No hymnary of any Protestant 
Church to-day can be found which does not contain some of 
the incomparable lyrics of Charles Wesley, and they are 
found in some Roman Catholic hymnaries as well. 

The second striking feature is the copious use made of 
the periodical press. In 1778 appeared the first number of 

Literature and Sunday-Schools. 


the Arminian Magazine, which, under the various names of 
the Methodist Magazine and Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, 
has been published continuously ever since, making it, we 
believe, the oldest of all the countless number of monthly 
periodicals. In the New World especially has the periodical 
press been employed for the dissemination of religious 
truth and the diffusion of religious and missionary intel- 
ligence. The Methodist Episcopal Church alone issues 
twenty -three official periodicals, the circulation of nineteen 
of which amounts to over 3,000,000 copies. Besides these, 
are thirty unofficial papers published in the interest of that 
Church, and many more official and unofficial published by 
the other Methodist Churches of that country. Methodism 
throughout the world publishes no less than 164 weekly, 
monthly or quarterly periodicals, the circulation of which, 
though we have not the data to accurately estimate it, is 
enormous, and the moral and religious influence of which is 
simply incalculable. The Methodist Episcopal Church of the 
United States alone, during the Quadrennium ending 1888, 
issued from its own presses 2,263,160 volumes, and the 
value of the sales from its official Book Concern during that 
Quadrennium amounted to $7,344,390. 

A leading New York journal comments as follows upon 
the success of the publishing interests of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church : — 

" Few publishing houses anywhere can show a record of 
financial prosperity equal to that of the Book Concern, 
which began operations one hundred years a<j;o with a 
borrowed capital of $600, and which to-day has an unin- 
cumbered capital of more than $1,500,000, after having 
contributed from its profits during the century nearly 
$2,500,000 to meet various expenses of the Church. Tens 
of millions of Methodist books have been sold, bccau e 

276 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


millions of Methodist people have been trained to hunger 
and thirst for the spiritual meat and drink which those 
books were intended to supply. It is one among many 
glories of the laborious clergy who, as ' circuit riders,' 
carried the Gospel into innumerable lonely settlements and 
neglected moral wastes on this continent, that they awak- 
ened a love of reading in multitudes of homes that else 
would have remained intellectually sterile. Let not the 
fastidious critic sneer. If it be admitted that much of the 
literature conveyed in ' saddle-bags ' by itinerant preachers 
was crude, unpolished, often feeble and narrow in range of 
ideas, yet no one can truthfully deny that its moral tone 
was unobjectionable, and that to set illiterate masses to 
reading about matters of high concern was an inestimable 
advantage to the country as well as to the Church." 

Another remarkable manifestation of intellectual activity 
is seen in the educational enterprises of the above-named 
Church. In 1886 it had no less than 143 colleges, universi- 
ties and higher institutions of learning, with buildings and 
grounds to the value of $7,584,640; debts, $592,474; 
professors and teachers, 1,405 ; students, 28,591. 

But we are concerned in this paper chiefly with the 
literary activity of Canadian Methodism. A native litera- 
ture is a plant of a slow growth. Like the aloe tree, it 
requires a century to bring it into bloom. It is not much 
more than a hundred years since the British conquest of 
Canada, and much less than a hundred years since the 
settlement of a great part of it. The early years were a 
continual struggle for existence. The Methodist people 
were hewing out for themselves homes in the wilderness, 
and the pioneer preachers were following the blazed paths 
through the forest to minister to them the Bread of Life. 
They have both been engaged in building churches and school- 
houses, and gathering into congregations and societies the 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 277 

scattered settlers, and in reclaiming from paganism to 
Christianity the native tribes. This must be their excuse, 
if they have not achieved as great results in literature as 
older, wealthier, and more amply leisured Churches. With 
the best products of British and American literature poured 
upon our shores, it has been a somewhat handicapped rivalry 
that our native authors have had to undergo. Neverthe- 
less, we are not without the beginnings of a native Metho- 
dist literature, and some native productions have even won 
recognition in the great republic of letters which embraces 
the world. 

Here, as elsewhere, periodical literature first took root, 
nourished most successfully, and bore most abundant fruit. 
The oldest religious paper in the Dominion, one of the 
oldest on the continent, or in the world, is the veteran 
Christian Guardian, now in its sixty-second year ; and 
never stronger for the defence of all the interests of Metho- 
dism, and for the diffusion of religious and general intelligence 
than to-day. It was a very bold enterprise for the com- 
paratively few and scattered Methodists in Canada in the 
year 1829 to establish a connexional press, and shortly after 
a connexional book room. In that distinguished Canadian, 
who subsequently did so much to lay broad and deep and 
stable the foundations of the commonweal by the unrivalled 
public school system of Upper Canada, of which he was the 
author, was found the worthy pioneer editor of Canadian 
Methodism. Valiantly by tongue and pen he fought the 
battles of civil and religious liberty, and won for the Meth- 
odists of those early days their civil and religious rights. 
It is, we think, unparalleled that an editor should be per- 
mitted to write in the semi-centennial issue of the paper 
which he founded, a leading editorial. Yet this distinction 

278 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

had Dr. Ryerson, and he had the further honour of seeing 
all the great principles for which he so valiantly contended 
granted to the people, and recognized in the constitution of 
the country. 

He was followed by able successors. The Revs. Franklin 
Metcalf, James Richardson, Ephraim Evans, Jonathan 
Scott, George F. Playter, George R. Sanderson, James 
Spencer and Wellington Jeffers constitute a line of gifted 
and faithful men who did good service to the Church. At 
different periods during recent years, the Revs. W. H. 
Withrow, David Savage, Geo. C. Workman, Thomas W. 
Campbell, S. G. Stone and Mr. John W. Russell have been 
associated in the editorial work of the paper. 

None of the former editors filled the editorial chair for 
so long a period as its present occupant, the Rev. Dr. 
Dewart, nor with more uniform ability and success. No 
periodical in Canada stands so high as an exponent of 
Christian thought and culture, and as a fearless defender of 
every interest of Methodism. Its influence in moulding in 
large degree through all these years the intellectual life of 
the people, in assisting all the great enterprises of the 
Church, in being a bond of sympathy between its centre 
aud its remotest parts, in creating a feeling of unity and 
solidarity in Canadian Methodism, can never be adequately 

Similar service has been rendered in the Provinces of 
Eastern British America by the Wesley an, now in its fifty- 
second volume. In the narrower limits, and with the smaller 
constituency to which it could appeal for support, it was 
a still bolder enterprise to launch this periodical upon the 
stormy sea of journalism, which has been strewn with the 
wrecks of so many editoral ventures. Its first pilot was 

Literature and Sunday-Schools. 279 

Rev. Dr. A. McLeod(now Editor of the Baltimore Methodist), 
1839-40. After two years, the paper was suspended in 
favour of a monthly magazine edited by Rev. Wm. Temple. 
The Wesley an, second series, began again in 1849, and con- 
tinued in charge of Dr. McLeod until 1854. From 1854 
to 1860 Mr. Matthew H. Richey, then practising law, had 
charge of the paper. He was followed by Rev. Charles 
Churchill, until 1862. Rev. J. McMurray, D.D., filled the 
editorial chair, until 1869, and was succeeded by Rev. Dr. 
Pickard, until 18 ?2. Then came Rev. A. W. Kicolson, 
until 1878. Rev. D. D. Currie was Editor for one year, to 
1879. Rev. T. Watson Smith held the office until 1886. 
At the General Conference of that year the present Editor, 
the Rev. Dr. Lathern, was elected, and was re-elected to the 
same office in 1890. 

The Canada Christian Advocate, the organ of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, was first started by Revs. Thomas 
Webster and Joseph H. Leonard, in Cobourg, in 1845. 
Two years afterward, 1847, it was purchased by the 
Church, and the same year was removed to the city of 
Hamilton. The Rev. T. Webster was continued its 
Editor until 1850, when Rev. Gideon Shepperd was 
appointed. He was succeeded, in 1860, by Rev. Samuel 
Morrison. In 1863 the Rev. George Abbs was elected and 
continued until 1871, when Rev. James Gardiner \v;is 
appointed. He was followed, in 1875, by Rev. S. G. Stone. 
In 1881, Rev. William Pirritte was appointed Editor, Dr. 
Stone continuing Book Steward, and continued in the 
editorial chair until the paper was merged into the 
Guardian in 1884, when Dr. Stone became Associate 
Editor of that paper till 1887. Under its successive 
editors the Advocate was a very influential religious journal. 

280 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


The Evangelical Witness, organ of the New Connexion 
Church, was begun as a monthly in the year 1855, by the 
Rev. J. H. Robinson, at that time and for many years subse- 
quent, the English representative of the Methodist New 
Connexion and its Missionary Superintendent. It soon 
became a semi-monthly, then a weekly. On Mr. Robinson's 
appointment to the editorship of the English Methodist 
New Connexion periodicals, Dr. Wm. Cocker, his successor 
as Superintendent of Missions, became also his successor as 
Editor of the Evangelical Witness, holding the position till his 
return to England in 1872. Dr. Cocker afterwards became 
Principal of Ranmoor College, Sheffield, and is still living. 
His successor in the editorship of the Evangelical Witness 
was Rev. David Savage, who held the office until by the 
Union of 1874 the Evangelical Witness was merged in the 
Christian Guardian, and for a time continued Associate 
Editor of the consolidated periodical. 

The Christian Journal, the organ of the Primitive Meth- 
odist Church, was established in 1857, in Toronto, by the 
Rev. J. Davidson, who had previously published at his 
private risk the Evangelist. He continued Editor and 
Book Steward till 1866, when he was succeeded by the Rev. 
T. Crompton, who continued Editor till 1870. The Rev. 
William Rowe became Book Steward in 1867, and Editor 
from 1870 to 1873. The Rev. William Bee became Book 
Steward and Missionary Secretary in 1872, and continued 
to discharge the duties of the office, with a brief exception, 
to the time of the Union in 1884. The Rev. Thomas Gut- 
tery acted as Editor in 1873 and 1874 ; Rev. William Bee, 
1874 to 1876 ; Rev. T. Guttery again, 1876 to 1878 ; then 
the Rev. Dr. Antliff from 1878 to 1884, the date of the 
Union. Under its successive editors the Journal was a 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 281 

periodical of much religious influence, and under the able 
editorship of Dr. Antliff, contributed largely to the carry- 
ing out of Methodist union. 

The Observer, the organ of the Bible Christian Church, 
was established in 1866 by the Rev. Cephas Barker, a man 
of great ability and marked individuality of character. It 
was published for two years in Cobourg, then removed to 
Bowman ville, Mr. Barker continuing Editor till 1880. He- 
was succeeded by the Rev. H. J. Knott, an amiable and 
scholarly man, who managed the paper with marked ability 
till his lamented death in 1883. He was succeeded by the 
Rev. George Webber, who continued in charge till the paper 
was merged in the Guardian in 1884. 

It is in its Sunday-school periodical literature that the 
most remarkable development in production and in numeri 
cal circulation has taken place, especially since the succes- 
sive recent unions of Canadian Methodism. To the vener- 
able Dr. Sanderson, a veteran Editor and Book Steward of 
the Wesleyan Methodist Church, is due the honour of 
organizing its Sunday-school periodical literature. Under 
the administration, as Book Steward, of the Rev. Dr. Rose, 
was established that very successful Sunday-school teachers' 
magazine, the Sunday-school Banner^ and the Sunday-scJwol 
Advocate, under the editorship of the Rev. Dr. Sutherland. 

The development of these periodicals, especially since the 
last Methodist Union, has been very remarkable. They 
trebled in number, several of them more than doubled in 
size, increased many fold in circulation, and greatly improved 
in mechanical make-up and illustration. There is scarcely 
a hamlet or neighbourhood in the English-speaking parts of 
the country where they do not circulate. They go to the 
remotest parts of the Dominion, to the fishing villages of 

282 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Labrador and Newfoundland, to Bermuda and Japan. 
From their cheapness and by their distribution through the 
Sunday-schools, they reach many who possess no other 
religious reading, and in many cases no reading of any sort. 
They do not attempt very high literary art. They are 
adapted to the comprehension of the humblest, but they 
bring the Word of Life to many by whom the voice of the 
living pi etcher is seldom heard. They are of great assis- 
tance to scores of thousands of faithful Sunday-school 
teachers, in the instruction of the youthful immortals com- 
mitted to their care. These papers focus upon the selected 
lessons all the light that can be concentrated from vari- 
ous sources, so as to be a continuous commentary by some of 
the best Biblical scholars living, brought within the reach 
of the most remote, the poorest and the humblest of those 
self-denying teachers of the scholars under their care. 
They furnish a noble vantage ground for moulding in large 
degree the future of the Church and nation, in influencing 
toward piety and godliness in the most susceptible and for- 
mative period of the minds of the young people of Meth- 

Th'e circulation of the Sunday-school periodicals has in- 
creased from a total of 103,729 on March 31st, 1882, 
to 194,076 on March 31st, 1886, to 252,566 on March 
31st, 1890, and to 324,350 on September 1st, 1890. 

On the completion of the Methodist Union of 1874 was 
established the Canadian Methodist Magazine, a monthly 
periodical devoted to religious literature and social pro- 
gress. It has furnished facilities for the production of 
a distinctively Canadian literature, and by its means over 
half a million of numbers of 100 pages each, including 
" insets," or over 50,000,000 pages of high-class literature, 
have been distributed throughout the Dominion. It 

Literature and Sunday-Schools. 2^3 

has found readers also in almost every State of t-he 
neighbouring Republic, and in Great Britain and Ireland, 
and even in Ceylon, India, China and J^pan. It is some- 
thing to the credit of Canadian Methodism, that when so 
many attempts to establish a Methodist monthly in the 
large and wealthy Methodist Episcopal Church of the Uni'ed 
States have failed, that of the much smaller and poorer 
Methodist Church in Canada has been so successful. Nor 
is this credit lessened by the fact that many attempts have 
been made in Canada to establish a monthly magazine on 
secular lines, all of which after a few years ceased to exist, 
whil« the Methodist Magazine, which is frankly denomina- 
tional and avowedly religious in its purpose and character, 
was never so strong nor exhibited such vitality as to-day. 
It has in a remarkable degree assisted to develop the literary 
ability and character of the writers of Canadian Methodism, 
many of whom first preened their pinions in its pages, and 
afterwards on stronger wing took farther flight to other 
lands. Its artistic development is still more remarkable than 
its literary success. No other Canadian mngazine ever 
attempted such copious and high-class illustrations or such 
mechanical excellence in letter-press ; and we know not any 
other country with an English-speaking population so sparse 
as our own that has ever attempted such an enterprise. 

The General Conference of 1890 ordered the publication 
of a new paper, especially adapted to the Epworth Leagues, 
which were everywhere springing into existence for young 
people in our schools and Bible-classes. In obedience to 
that injunction, a new paper, an eight-page weekly, Onward, 
was established, which has already, in the second month of 
its publication, reached a circulation of nearly 20,000, and 
gives promise of great development and improvement-. 
Since 1875, the Sunday-school periodicals and Met'iodist 

284 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

Magazine have been under the direction of the writer of 
this article. 

If Canadian Methodism had done nothing more than 
create this large amount of wholesome religious literature, 
it would have done a great deal, for a Church which has 
covered the country with a complete network of religious 
agencies, and in the largest, most populous Province of 
Ontario has erected more churches than all the other 
Churches, Protestant and Roman Catholic, together. (See 
census of 1881.) But it has done a good deal more. It 
has one of the largest book publishing houses, if not the 
very largest in the Doaiinion, from which is issuing a con- 
stant stream of books, many of them written by Methodist 
pens; and most, if not all of these, written amid the press- 
ing duties of circuit life or official duty. 

One of the earliest, most industrious and strongest writers 
% of early Methodism was the late Rev. Dr. Ryerson — claruvi 
et venerabile nomen — a statesman and a philosopher, who 
to his editorial and official work added historical contribu- 
tions of great and permanent value to the 'literature of his 
country. "The Loyalists of America and their Times," in 
two large octavo volumes, is the most ample and adequate 
treatment the pilgrim founders and fathers of British 
Canada ever received — a worthy tribute to a band of heroic 
men and women, by one who was himself a descendant of that 
good old stock, and who illustrated in his own person and 
character their sturdy virtues. His " Epochs and Character- 
istics of Canadian Methodism," originally contributed to the 
Methodist Magazine, is a valuable account of the important 
ecclesiastical movements in which he himse'f bore so pro- 
minent a part. His voluminous official Educational Re- 
ports were important State papers. His posthumous work, 
" The Story of My Life," edited by Drs. Hodgins, Nelles 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 2"s 


and Potts, is a modest record of a noble life, which should 
lie for all time an incentive to Canadian youth and manhood 
to moral achievement and attainment. Dr. Ryerson's indus- 
trious pen left also in manuscript an elaborate work on the 
later history of England, the result of much original investi- 
gation in the British Museum and elsewhere. Morgan, in 
his " Bibliotheca Canadensis," enumerates fifty-eight dis- 
tinct publications from his busy pen. His best work was 
his noble Christian life. His effigy in bronze stands in our 
midst, that successive generations may know the form and 
semblance of the man. But his grandest monument is the 
public school system of his native Province, and the Metho- 
dist Church in this land, which he did so much to found 
and build. 

Another of the most racv and readable writers of Cana- 
dian Methodism was the late Rev. Dr. Caroll, a man 
levered, honoured and beloved by all who knew him. 
His chief work, and one that must remain forever indispen- 
sable to those who would know the beginnings of Methodism 
in this land, is his " Biographical History of Case and His 
Cotemporaries," a work in five goodly volumes, full of 
the graphic characterization, the quiet humour, the quaint 
quips and quirks of one of the most genial as well as one 
of the most saintly of men — an Israelite, indeed, in whom 
there was no guile. In the delineation of " Father Corson," 
pioneer missionary, his pen found another subject congenial 
to his genius. His " Story of My Boy Life," a graphic 
volume of early days in Toronto; and his ''School of the 
Prophets," are brimful of blended humour and pathos. His 
continuous stream of contributions to the (^inrdiini on 
every aspect of Church life and Church work, for many 
years, would themselves (ill several volumes. 

Many other writers have contributed to tV' Metholist 

286 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

literature of Canada, to whom we can but briefly refer. Dr. 
Dewart, the accomplished Editor of the Christian Guardian, 
is the author of an able volume, entitled, " Living Epistles ; 
or, Christ's Witnesses in the World," a work which has had a 
large sale, and one which has won high enoomiums from the 
press. His " Songs of Life," a volume of original poetrj-, 
exhibits a high degree of poetic feeling, and poetic Are. 
His " Development of Doctrine " is an able treatise on an 
important subject. Numerous trenchant pamphlets from 
his vigorous pen have been called forth by exigent 'circum- 
stances of the times. 

The Rev. Dr. Burwash, the learned Chancellor of Victoria 
University, has given not merely to Methodism, but to the 
Church universal one of the best commentaries on the 
Epistle to the Romans. This is not the judgment of par- 
tial friends, but of independent and high-class reviewers. 
His edition of Wesley's Doctrinal Standards, with intro- 
duction, analysis and notes, is another important contribu- 
tion to our theological literature. 

The most conspicuous contribution to distinctively criti- 
cal literature by a Canadian pen, challenging the attention 
of the ablest scholars and exegetes of the Old World and the 
New, is that by a young professor in Victoria University, 
George Coulson Workman, Ph.D. His learned work on 
the text of Jeremiah, a critical investigation of the Greek 
and Hebrew, with the variations in the LXX. retranslated 
into the original, has won the highest encomiums from the 
distinguished scholars best competent to judge of its mer ts. 
Professor Delitzsch gives it strong commendation, and tie 
ancient University of Leipsic showed its appreciation of 
Prof. Workman's distinguished scholarship by conferring 
upon him the degree of Ph.D. 

Literature and Sunday-ScJiools. '287 

The Rev. Dr. Poole, besides several books on practical 
religion, has issued a large octavo volume entitled, " Anglo- 
Israel," in which he sets forth and supports with great 
vigour and learning the theory that the Anglo-Saxon race is 
identical with the lost tribes of Israel. Whether one accept 
this theory or not, he cannot but admit the ingenuity and 
force with which its able advocate urges his contention. 

Th j leaders in thought and action of Canadian Metho- 
dism have been men too exclusively engrossed in the active 
duties of life to be able to give time to literary work. The 
late lamented Dr. Xeiles, for over thirty years President of 
Victoria University, a man who possessed an exquisite 
literary taste and a chaste and polished style, has left little 
behind him except his noble convocation addresses, and ;i 
few published sermons and some admirable contributions to 
the Methodist Magazine. His best work was engraven on 
the hearts and minds of successive generations of students 
who translated his teachings into high thinking and noble 
lives — " living epistles known and read of all men." So, 
too, the venerable Dr. Douglas, a man of imperial intellect, 
of marvellous eloquence, prevented by the constraints of 
physical infirmity from the use of his pen, lives in the 
heart and mind of Canadian Methodism chiefly in the 
memory of his thrilling conference sermons and addresses. 
But some of these will never be forgotten while the hearer 
lives ; they were epoch-marking and historic. The Rev 
Dr. Carman, with the cares of all the churches coming upon 
him daily, has found time for ;i copious cor respondence with 
the public and denominational journals, for important con- 
tributions to the Methodist M<tga~Mi.p, and for writing a 
wise and thoughtful and thought-compelling volume on 
"The Guiding Eye." The Rev. Dr. Stallbrd, amid the en 

288 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

• . 

gagements of a busy pastorate, has a similar volume on the 
kindred subject of " The Guiding Hand," and has also con- 
tributed to such hii>h-class reviews as Christian Thought, 
articles in which his independence of investigation and 
expression are strikingly exhibited. A book of kindred 
character has also been written by the Rev. Nelson Burns, 
M.A. The late Dr. Williams wrote for the connexional 
monthly many valuable articles, besides a series of fine 
studies in Methodist Hymnody. 

That accomplished and genial writer, the Rev. Hugh 
Johnston, has published one of the most charming and in- 
structive books of travel extant, " Towards the Sun-Rise," 
being a graphic account of extensive journeying in Central 
and Southern Europe and in Egypt and Palestine. He 
has also written with admirable good taste memorial pam- 
phlets on the Rev. Dr. Punshon, and on several others of the 
sainted dead of Methodism. The late Rev. J. S. Evans, a 
"cultured and scholarly man, has written a volume of practi- 
cal theology, which has been received with high praise, 
entitled, " The One Mediator : Selections and Thoughts on 
the Propitiatory Sacrifice and Intercession Presented by the 
Lord Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest." The Rev. S. 
G. Phillips, M.A., has issued a volume of sermons, well 
spoken of, on "The Need of the World;" also "From Death 
to Life ; or, the Lost Found." Dr. Alexander Sutherland, 
amid the busy occupations of his official life, has found time 
to contribute important articles to some of the leading 
reviews, and to publish a volume entitled, " A Summer in 
Prairie Land," being notes of a tour through the North- 
West Territory. The Rev. D. G. Sutherland, LL.B., D.D., 
has written a charming series of papers on travel in Pales- 
tine, Turkey and Greece, marked by n uch grace and scholar- 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 2 SO 

ship. In the difficult and ill-requited department of 
statistics, the Rev. George Cornish, LL.D., has compiled a 
large and useful octavo volume, giving the record of each 
minister, and of each circuit and station of the Metho- 
dist Church in Canada, .up to the last Union — a eye'opoedia 
of Canadian Methodism which is a monument of his accu- 
racy and fidelity — a vade mecum of all future historians of 
the Church. 

The Rev. David Savage, for several years Editor of the 
Evangelical Witness, the organ of the New Connexion 
Church, a writer of singular grace and elegance, has pub- 
lished an admirable life of the Rev. William McClure, one 
of the most highly venerated ministers of that body, and a 
number of interesting magazine articles. The Rev. J. C. 
Seymour, another minister of the New Connexion Church, 
inherits a remarkable gift for writing, which he has 
sedulously cultivated by continual practice. He won, in 
extensive competition, a valuable prize by his essay on 
"Systematic Giving." He has written also, " Voices from 
the Throne ; or, God's Call to Faith and Obedience," " The 
River of Life," "The Temperance Battle field," and a num- 
ber of graphic studies in biography. 

The Rev. George. Webber, of the former Bible Christian 
Church, is the author of two volumes of lectures and essays 
upon prominent actors in the drama of history. They 
exhibit extensive reading and a deep insight into character, 
and are marked in a high degree by the eloquence which 
graces spoken discourse. The Rev. John Harris wrote a 
popular life of Francis Metherell, founder of the Bible 
Christian Church in Prince Edward Island ; and the Rev. 
John Kenner wrote the life of the Rev. Mr. Beswetherick, a 
young Cornish minister of remarkable eloquence. 

290 Centenjiial of Canadian Methodism. 

Turning to the Provinces of Eastern British America, 
we find the Rev. Dr. Lathern, Editor of the Wesley an, an 
accomplished litterateur. His " Macedonian Cry : a Voice 
from the Land of Brahma and Buddha, Africa and the 
Isles of the Sea, and a Plea for Missions," is a comprehen- 
sive survey of the wide mission held, and an eloquent 
appeal to the Church on its behalf. His biography of the 
late Judge Wilmot is a model of condensed and graphic por- 
traiture. His " Baptisma : Exegetical and Controversial," 
is an admirable presentation of the arguments for pedo- 

The Rev. T. Wa'son Smith, the predecessor in office of 
Dr. Lathern, has laid universal Methodism under tribute 
by his admirable history of Methodism in the Maritime 
Provinces and in the Islands of Newfoundland and Ber- 
muda, in two fascinating volumes. Few tales of sublimer 
^consecration or more heroic endeavour have ever been 
penned. It were well if the present generation would 
become more familiar with the soul-stirring story of the 
pioneer fathers and founders of Methodism in the New 

The Rev. S. B. Dunn, of the Nova Scotia Conference, is 
one of the most thorough and accurate students living of 
Wesleyan hymnody, and of the text of Shakespeare. 
His serial contributions on these subjects to the Methodist 
Magazine are among the very best we have seen, and we 
hope will soon appear in book form. The Rev. Edwin 
Evans, of the New Brunswick Conference, has written 
a small volume on " Historic Christianity," which has 
attracted attention and won high praise in Great Britain. 
Dr. Richey has written a " Life of William Black," and 
a volume of sermons of stately rhetoric and high order of 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 2.01 

thought. Rev. A. W. Nicolson has published an attractive 
life of James B. Morrow ; Rev. George O. Huestis, a 
"Manual of Methodism," succinct and useful ; Rev. Dr. 
Currie, a " Catechism on Baptism." Rev. Matthew R. 
Knight has published a volume of poems, which entitles 
him to a prominent place among Canadian bards. Rev. 
John Solden also published a volume of poetry. 

Dr. Stewart, of Sackville University, like all our College 
Presidents, has been compelled to do most of his writing 
on the hearts and minds of his theological students, but his 
vigorous contributions to the press would form a large 
aggregate if collected. 

In the Newfoundland Conference the Rev. George Bond, 
M.A., has published in England, in a handsomely illustrated 
volume, a graphic and touching story of out-port Methodism, 
with which many of our readers are familiar. His " Vaga- 
bond Vignettes," or sketches of travel in Egypt and Pales- 
tine, are possessed of singular grace and elegance. The 
Rev. Henry Lewis has also written some graphic sketches 
of Newfoundland life, and the Rev. W. Percival has written 
one of the best accounts extant of the history of Britain's 
oldest colony. 

In the far North-West the Rev. J. McLean, Ph.D., has 
produced a volume on Indian life and character which pos- 
sesses much popular interest. He has also won an inter- 
national reputation as an authority on the Indian languages 
and the literature connected therewith, and has become! a 
contributor to the transactions of learned societies both in 
the United States and Canada. The Pev. E. R. Younjj, 
for several years a missionary to the Indian tribes, has 
published, both in Great Britain and Canada, a book < f 
absorbing interest, entitled, " By Canoe and Dog-Train 

292 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

among the Cree and Saulteaux Indians." He is also con- 
tributing to the New York Ledger, one of the most widely 
circulated papers of the United States, and to an English 
journal of s milar character, a series of graphic illustrated 
articles on life at d adventure in the North-West. Another 
North-West missionary, the Rev. J. H. Ruttan, has, with 
infinite industry and scholarly zeal, prepared a new harmony 
of the Gospels, which renders more vivid to the reader the 
1 fe of our Lord. 

The Rev. Wm, Harrison, of the New Brunswick Confer- 
ence, has surpassed almost every Canad an writer for the 
number and excellence of his contributions to the reviews 
and higher religious periodicals of both Canada, Great Britain 
and the United States, the merit of which has procured for 
him election to the Victoria Institute, one of the leading 
philosophical societies of the world. There lies before us 
a little volume, "Tabor Melodies," a series of 250 sonnets 
on religious subjects, by Mr. Robert Evans, of Hamilton, 
recently deceased, which are a marvel for accurate construc- 
tion, elevation of thought and noble diction. Such a tour 
de force of sustained excellence, when we remember that 
many of them were written on railway trains and amid the 
distractions of travel, we do not know in literature. The 
numerous poetical contributions to the press of the Rev. 
Thomas Cleworth also claim m* ntion. In Mr. Percy Pun- 
shon the poetic and literary instincts and gifts of his 
honoured sire are conspicuous in the son. The Rev. T. L, 
"Wilkenson has published a large volume on the subject of 
'• Christian Baptism," which is regarded as one of the best 
works extant on this important topic. 

A little volume of sketches from the note-book of an 
itinerant, "Smiles and Tears," of blended humour and 

Literature and Siuiday-ScJiooh. 203 

pathos; a couple of missionary compilations, and innumerable 
contributions to the religious press of Canada, Great Britain 
and the United States, attest the industry and ability of 
the Rev. Dr. Barrass, of the Toronto Conference. 

The Rev. Principal Austin, of Alma Ladies' College, has 
just issued a goodly quarto volume on " Woman, her Char- 
acter, Culture and Calling," to which he largely contributes, 
assisted by other Canadian writers. His able pamphlet on 
the Jesuit question has had, for Canada, an enormous cir- 
culation. He has also published " The Gospel to the Poor 
vs. Pew Rents," a vigorous pamphlet, and has edited a 
volume of sermons by Methodist Episcopal ministers. The 
Rev. Austin Potter has written a story — a tremendous 
indictment of the liquor traffic — "From Wealth to Poverty; 
or, The Tricks of the Traffic," a story of the drink curse. 

The annual volumes of the Theological Unions of the Meth- 
odist Church and the Canadian Mnthodist (Jnarterly llcrictv 
have developed a large amount of high class thought and 
writing on theological, philosophical and religious topics. 
Of the contributors to this important department of native 
literature the following is only a partial list : Revs. A. M. 
Phillips, B.D., Editor; S. Bond, Dr. Ryckman, A. C. 
Courtice, B.D., James Graham, J. W. Bell, B.D., W. \V. 
Andrews, B.A., Prof. Badgley, Job Shenton, II. F. Bland, 
Prof. Shaw, LL.D., J. E. Ford, B.D., J. S Ross, M.A., J. 
W. Sparling, LL.D., J. Awde, B.A., Prof. Workman, Prof. 
Wallace, W. Galbraith, LL.B., and others. The Revs. W. 
S. Blackstock, a practised newspaper litteratnw; R. Cade, 
George Cochran, who did very valuable work in translating 
the Scriptures into Japanese; Dr. Eby, whose volume of 
essays on " Higher Christian Thought" was very highly 
commended by Joseph Cook ; J. F. German, Dr. Harper, 

204 Centennial of Canadian JMciJwdism. 

John Hunt, Drs. W. J. and S. J. Hunter, Dr. Pirritte, 
Methodist Episcopal Church; J. Manley, J. Philp, M.A., 
J E. Sanderson, M.A., Le Roy Hooker, who has written 
the best U. E. Loyalist poem produced in Canada ; 
W. McDonagh, J. R. Gundy, Dr. Pascoe, Dr. Antliff, 
Sydney Kendal, whose " New Chivalry " is a stirring 
Canadian temperance tale ; S. Rose, D. L. Brethour, Ph.D., 
Alex. Burns, LL.D., John McDougall, who has written 
an excellent biography of his sainted sire; J. S. Ross, M.A., 
James Allen, M.A., Dr. A. H. Reynar, Dr. W. Williams, 
B. Sherlock, A. Andrews, G. O. Huestis, C. Jost, M.A., 
Dr. J. Macmurray, and possibly others whose names we 
cannot recall, have also made valuable contributions to 
Canadian Methodist literature. 

Among our earlier writers, the Rev. John Ryerson's 
" Visit to the Hudson Bay Territory " was almost, if not 
,quite, the pioneer in that line, as was the Rev. James 
Playter's " History of Methodism," in another direction. 
We have not seen the Rev. J. Webster's " History of 
Canadian Methodism," but we understand that it is a work 
of much vigour and ability. The Rev. Henry Harris, of 
the late Primitive Methodist Church, has written a number 
of works, "Walks in Paradise," "Stray Beams from the 
Cross," "Words of Life," etc. The Rev. Joseph H. Hilts 
has also written a graphic work on " Backwoods Itinerant 
Life." The Rev. T. Davidson wrote a life of the Rev. Mr. 
Clowes, one of the fathers of Primitive Methodism ; and 
the Rev. T. Crompton, a thoughtful work on the " Agency 
of the Church." "William and Mary, a Tale of the Siege of 
Louisburg," by Rev. David Hickey, has considerable merit. 

The laymen of Canadian Methodism have been, for the 
most part, so engrossed in business or professional life that 

Literature and Sunday- Schools. 205 

they have had little time for purely literary work. But a few 
names are conspicuous in this respect. Noteworthy among 
these was the late Senator Macdonald, whose volume on 
"Business Success," and his numerous and graphic letters of 
travel in Newfoundland, in the West Indies and South 
America, and on th^ North- West coast and Alaska, and his 
numerous contributions in prose and verse to the Methodist 
Magazine, attest his literary instincts and activity. One 
of the most prominent names in current literature in re- 
views, magazines and literary periodicals of Canada, Great 
Britain and the United States, is that of J. Macdonald 
Oxley, a gentleman of the civil service at Ottawa, and 
member of the Dominion Church. He has also issued 
in the United States one or two or three volumes of 
stories. Professor Haanel, late of Victoria University, 
has contributed to the transactions of the Royal Society 
some very important papers, describing some of his origi- 
nal discoveries in science. For rare and accurate classical 
scholarship, the renderings into Greek and Latin verse of 
many of the most noted hymns of Christendom, in the 
Methodist Jfar/azin^, by W. H. C. Kerr, M.A,, have never 
been surpassed. Mrs. M. E. Lauder's " Legends and Tales 
of the Harz Mountains," and her volume of travels, have 
the honour of reaching a second edition. Miss May 
Tweedie, Miss M. A. Daniels, Mrs. T. Moore, and other 
Canadian Methodist ladies, have written much for the press. 
Miss I. Templeton- Armstrong's volume, entitled " Old Vice 
and New Chivalry," is a strongly written temperance work. 
The above enumeration, from which we may have omitted 
some noteworthy volumes, will indicate that there is a con- 
siderable amount of intellectual literary activity in Canadian 
Methodism; and we may anticipate that as opportunities 

296 Centennial of Canadian MetJiodism. 

« — _ . 

for the publication and sale of their work increases, there 
may be anticipated a corresponding increase in the literary 
"output." It would be unbecoming for the present writer 
to refer here to his own humble efforts in literature further 
than to append a list of his several books.* 


Methodism has ever availed itself of every means which 
could promote its great object — the spread of Christian holi- 
ness throughout the land. Hence its early adoption of lay 
preaching, out-of-door services, the class-meeting, and 
notably of the Sunday-school. 

As early as 1737, John Wesley gathered the children 
in Savannah, Georgia, for religious instruction. In 1769, 
Hannah Ball, a young Methodist, established a Sunday- 

* "The Catacombs of Rome, and their Testimony Relative to Primi- 
tive Christianity," 12mo, cloth, pp. 560, with 136 illustrations, six 

' ' Popular History of Canada, " 8vo, pp. 678, illustrated, four editions. 

"School History of Canada," 12mo, pp. 320 s 

"Chautauqua History of Canada," 12mo, pp. 232. 

"Our Own Country," 8vo, pp. 608, 360 engravings. 

"A Canadian in Europe," being sketches of travel in France, Ger- 
many, Switzerland, Italy, Holland and Belgium, Great Britain and 
Ireland, copiously illustrated, 12mo, pp. 374. 

' ' Valeria ; the Martyr of the Catacombs, " a tale of early Christian 
life in Rome, illustrated. 

"Neville Trueman, the Pioneer Preacher," a tale of the War of 1812. 

"The King's Messenger; or, Lawrence Temple's Probation," a 
story of Canadian life. 

"The Romance of Missions." 

"Worthies of Early Methodism." 

"Great Preachers, Ancient and Modern." 

" Life in a Parsonage," a tale of Canadian life. 

" Men Worth Knowing; or, Heroes of Christian Chivalry." 

"Modern Missionary Heroes." 

"The Physiological Effects of Alcohol." 

"The Bible and the Temperance Question." 

"Is Alcohol Food?" 

"The Liquor Traffic." 

"Prohibition the Duty of the Hour." 

"Intemperance; its Evils and their Remedies," a prize essay, etc. 

Literature and Sabbath-Schools, 297 

school in Wycombe. In 1781, another Methodist, after 
wards wife of Samuel Bradburn, in reply to the query 
of Robert Raikes, " What can we do for the untaught 
children?" suggested gathering them into Sunday-schools. 
It was done, and in 1784, John Wesley wrote of them 
in his Journal, "Perhaps God may have a deeper end 
therein than men are aware of." In the Arminian Maga- 
zine for January, 1789, he exhorted the Methodist people 
to adopt the new institution. The same year John Fletcher 
had 300 children under instruction ; next year there were 
550 in a school in Bolton, and the following year it had 
grown to 800, taught by eighty teachers. 

In 1787, there were 200,000 children gathered into Sun 
day-schools. The same year John Wesley wrote, " It seems 
that there will be one great means of reviving religion 
throughout the nation." 

In 1786, the first Sunday-school in the New World was 
established by Francis Asbury, and as one of its results, 
a converted scholar became one of the pioneer Methodist 

It is difficult to determine when Methodist Sunday 
schools were first introduced into Canada. The Metro- 
politan Church in this city traces its pedigree directly to 
a school established in the old wooden, first Methodist 
church on the corner of King and Jordan Streets, on the 
site where now stands the new Bank of Commerce. 

Out of this school have grown many others in Toronto 
and the surrounding country, whose influence .on the growth 
of Methodism and the advancement of the cause of God is 
simply incalculable. In Montreal, Kingston, Belleville, 
Hamilton, London, and other centres of population and 
influence, Methodist Sunday-schools were early established, 

298 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

which have multiplied and spread till the land is covered 
with a complete network of them. Scarcely a village or 
hamlet in the English-speaking part of the country are 
without Methodist Sunday-schools, which outnumber in 
Ontario those of all the other Protestant denominations 
taken together. The successive unions which have taken 
place among the different branches of Methodism, while 
they have in many places consolidated two or three schools 
into one, have led to a great aggregate increase, both in the 
number and strength of the schools and in general pros- 
perity of our Sunday-school interests. We cannot give 
detailed record of progress, but the following summary 
must suffice. 

One of the most important helps in the development of 
our Sunday-schools has been the Sunday-school Aid and 
Extension Fund, which began on a very small scale in the 
^ear 1875. This fund is maintained by one collection 
taken up in each school during the year. From it grants 
of books and papers are given in small amounts for the 
establishment of new schools, and the support of needy 
ones in remote and destitute parts of the country, especially 
among the tishing villages of Newfoundland and the Mari- 
time Provinces ; among the new settlements of the Upper 
Ottawa, in Muskoka, Algoma, British Columbia, Manitoba 
and the North- West. t Many grateful testimonies show the 
invaluable help which has been given by these grants. By 
means of this fund 498 new schools have been established 
in the last Quadrennium, and very many more, which in all 
probability could not have maintained an existence without 
the aid of the fund, have been liberally assisted. Schools 
applying for aid are required, if possible, to contribute 
something toward the grant given. In this way the schools 

Literature and Sabbath-Schools. 200 

assisted have, during the Quadrennium, contributed in part 
payment for grants the sum of 8-3,175, as against 81,822 
during the previous Quadrennium, an increase of $3,353. 

Statement of growth of the income of the Sunday-school 
Aid and Extension Fund since its establishment in 1875 : 
1875—8297.08; 1876—8504.77; 1877—8610.97; 1878— 
8742.86; 1879— $699.02; 1880— $786.88; 1881— 8916.53 ; 
1882—8928.61; 1883—81,365.30; 1884—81,548.46; 1885 
—82,177.92; 1886—82,626.30; 1887—83,215.79; 1888— 
83,664.41; 1889 — $3,476.73 ; 1890 — $3,517.80. Total, 

Statement of growth of income from part payments : 
1883—8193.55; 1884—8287.33; 1885— $511.81 ; 1886— 
$829.39; 1887 — $1,179.82; 1888 — $1,403.17; 1889 — 
$1,245.11; 1890— $1,347.54. Total, $6,997.72. 


Since the foregoing paper was written, posthumous volumes of 
sermons and lectures, by two of the ablest preachers of Canadian 
Methodism — Rev. S. J. Hunter, D.D., and Rev. William Stephenson 
— have been published by our connexional Book Room. 

In the enumeration of one hundred and sixty Methodist writers, 
the following were accidentally omitted : The Rev. D. Rogers has 
edited a volume of s rmons by ministers of the Guelph Conference, 
and a volume entitled " Shot and Shell for the Temperance Conflict." 
Rev. R. C. Horner has published an excellent treatise on " Voice 
Culture," and a number of useful tracts. Rev. J. Chapman, M.A. , 
has published a pamphlet on " Class-Meeting ;" and Rev. Alexander 
Langford, one on " Conversations on Baptism." Rev. J. G. Manly 's 
"Religion of Life" was overlooked; also Rev. L. N. Beaudry's 
"Spiritual Struggle of a Roman Catholic." A volume of sermons 
on the " Christian Life," by Rev. C. W. Hawkins, has also been pub- 
lished. The " Life and Times of Anson Green, D.D.," written by 
himself, is a graphic portraiture of pioneer trials and triumphs. 
Rev. D. V. Lucas has published a volume of travels, entitled, 
" Australia and Homeward," and other works. The Rev. T. G. 
Williams, D.D., of the Montreal Conference* under the title, 
"Methodism and Anglicanism," has issued the ablest discussion on 
the relations between these two systems that we have anywhere seen. 
In addition to the " One Mediator," by J. S. Evans, should be men- 
tioned his volume on " Christian Rewards." In addition to the Rev. 
H. F. Bland's pamphlets, should be mentioned, too, his Victoria 
University lectures on " Soul Winning ;" also Professor Wallace's 
" History of Preaching ;" " The Life of Amand Parent ;" " Journal 
of Rev. Peter Jones ;" Poems by R. Awde, Esq.; "Church Member- 
ship," by Rev. S. Bond, and Rev. George McRitchie's pamphlet on 
the "Soul's Anchor." There are, doubtless, also other literary 
productions that we cannot recall. 

The development of the publishing interests of Canadian Method- 
ism has kept pace with every other department of church work, and 
has experienced a great expansion since the recent happily consum- 
mated union. Sixty-two years ago the first number of the Guardian 
was published in a very modest establishment in March, now Lom- 
bard, Street, and after several removals, the Methodist Book Room 
and Printing Office finally, in 183S, settled in what were for the 

time very capacious premises on King Street, shown in one of our 
cuts. Successive attempts were made to enlarge the accommodation 
by occupying every available inch from cellar to attic, till the estab- 
lishment was crowded out of its old quarters, and was compelled to 
erect the magnificent and capacious new building on Temperance 
and Richmond Streets, utilizing also the old Richmond Street 
Methodist Church, the scene of many religious triumphs, and which 
was still to be employed in a different, but no less efficient, sense as 
an agency for the spread of Christian truth. 

Under a succession of able Bnok Stewards — Rev. J. Ryerson, 
Alex. Macnab, Dr. Anson Green, Dr. Sanderson, and Dr. Rose — the 
business has grown with the growth of the Church in the country, 
and under none has such expansion and development taken place as 
uuder the present energetic and enterprising manager, Rev. Dr. 
Briggs. The cost of purchase and erection was $116,370. The 
premises cover an area of 100 by 176 feet, and form one of the 
most complete publishing establishments in the Dominion. About 
two hundred hands are employed. The gross profits for the Quad- 
rennium ending March 1st, 1891, were $248,478, showing an increase 
over the previous Quadrennium of $58,913. The total sales of goods 
for the Quadrennium were $511,457. Appropriations for the Super- 
annuated Ministers' Fund for the Quadrennium were $22,000. With 
the enlarged capacity, improved machinery, capacious printery, 
bindery, stereotyping, and book publishing departments, the outlook 
for the future is exceedingly bright. Books printed during the 
Quadrennium ending March 31, 1891, were 984,037, showing an in- 
crease of 338,049 over the previous one. The pamphlets and tracts 
1,634,764, an increase of 1,269,225. The quantity of paper used 
for books and periodicals was 37,974 reams, an increase of 13,761 

The Eastern Publishing House, situated at Halifax, in a much 
more restricted field, having a much narrower constituency, has, of 
course, not been able to present such a record of remarkable expan- 
sion, but its history has been one of healthy development, under a 
succession of efficient Book Stewards. We regret that we have not 
the figures to hand to give its numerical increase. 

The branch house at Montreal, in a community where the large 
majority are Roman Catholics, has also a record of steady, if not 
rapid, development. The sales for the Quadrennium ending March 
31, 1891, were $61,979. 





AT the Conference next following the independent organi- 
sation of Canadian Methodism two most important 
enterprises were undertaken by the young Church. They 
were both rendered essentially necessary by the circumstan- 
ces of the times, and were the direct outcome of the struggle 
in which our fathers were engaged, to secure for themselves 
and for their children complete civil and religious liberty. 
The first was the publication of a weekly religious news- 
paper, which was projected, not merely for devotional and 
religious purposes, but especially as a means of awakening 
the interest and directing the thought -and action of the 
Methodist public on the moral and religious aspects of all 
living questions. 

The other enterprise was initiated by a resolution of 
Conference in 1829, to provide for the higher education of 
the young people of the Church, and especially for the rising 
ministry. In the following year a constitution for the pro- 
jected seminary, to be called Upper Canada Academy, was 
adopted, and efforts were at once put forth to raise the 
necessary funds. 

The Methodists of that time numbered few men of 
wealth, being principally farmers, still engaged in the 
struggle to create productive homesteads out of primitive 


302 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

forests. To raise the $50,000 needed to build and equip 
their seminary was a more gigantic undertaking than would 
be the raising of two millions by the united Canadian 
Methodism of to-day, or ©f twenty millions hy the wealthy 
Methodism of the United States. But to these fifty men 
©f faith the task was God's command, and it must be done. 
If the work placed in their hands by God was to be carried 
forward, a ministry so educated as not to be disparaged by 
the side of the university men supplied to the Anglican and 
Presbyterian churches from the oM seats of learning in 
Great Britain must be secured for Methodism-. If, in the 
councils of the nation and in the great politico-religious 
questions of the day, they were to make their influence felt, 
their sons must be educated. Under this supreme sense of 
duty, as it must then have appeared to them, the work was 
undertaken, and, in seven years from the time of its first 

^mention in Conference, was completed, free from debt. Of 
"the effort put forth to bring about such a consummation 
some idea niay be formed from a few sentences ©f a letter, 
written by the Chairman of the Board engaged in erecting 

j the building to the Rev. Egerton Ryerson, who was then in 
England soliciting funds and a royal charter for the insti- 
tution r " You mast stay irs England until the money is got. 
Use every effort. Harden your face to flint, and give elo- 
quence to your tongue. This is your calling ; excel in it. 
Be not discouraged with a dozen refusals in succession. 
The money must be had, and it must be begged. My dear 
brother, work for your life, and I pray God to give you 
success. Do not borrow, if possible. Beg, beg, beg it all. 
Jt must be done.'* 

Such was the spirit of conviction, and such the effort <*£ 
these founders of our Church. 

JWetlwdist Education in Canada. 303 

Nor were the financial difficulties the only ones to be 
overcome in this enterprise. It was considered necessary 
that the institution should possess corporate powers and 
conduct its operations under the provisions of a charter. 
Such a charter could only, at this time, be obtained directly 
from the King himself, acting, of course, through the Colo- 
nial Secretary, who again was to be approached through the 
Governor of Upper Canada. It might be supposed that 
such an enterprise as the founding of a seminary of learning 
in a young colony, which at that time possessed but one 
institution of the class proposed, would meet with the most 
ready acquiescence and approbation of the authorities, both 
in our own country and in the parent land. In England 
these anticipations were not disappointed, but in Canada 
the representatives of our Church had to force their way 
through almost every possible form of official obstruction 
and delay, and even insult, before the desiied object was 

The institution thus founded was opened for academic 
work June 18, 1836, with the Rev. Matthew Richey as 
Principal. Mr. Richey was a native of Ireland. Classically 
educated in the land < f his birth and converted under the 
ministry of Methodism about twenty years before this time, 
he emigrated to America, and in the Maritime Provinces 
consecrated his rare gifts of eloquence to the work of the 
ministry. He was a master in pulpit eloquence; splendid 
in diction, rich and beautiful in thought, luminous in expo- 
sition of truth, association with him was in itself an inspir- 
ing education to the young men of that day. At the close 
of the first year the new Academy numbered 120 students 
on its roll, and was fully organized under the royal charter 
granted October 7th, liSoG, l>y His Majesty King William 

oO-t Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

IV.; and was, by the aid of a royal grant, free from debt. 
During the three years of Mr. Richey 's presidency the 
Church already began to reap the fruits of her enterprise in 
the addition to the ranks of the ministry of such names as 
G. R. Sanderson, James Spencer and I. B. Howard, all 
trained in the Academy, and in after years doing honour to 
their alma mater. 

In 1839 Mr. Richey was succeeded by the Rev. Jesse 
Hurlburt, M. A., a graduate of Wesleyan University, Middle- 
! town, a finished scholar and a very able educator. Asso- 
ciated with him was also another gentleman, then just 
beginning a distinguished career as an educator, the Rev. 
D. C. Van Norman, M.A. Under their control the 
Academy continued to increase in popularity and usefulness 
both to the Church and to the country. It was during this 
period that the Rev. H. B. Steinhauer, himself an Indian 
of pure blood, laid the foundation of that scholarship which 
served him so we'll in the translation of the entire Scriptures 
into the Cree language of our North- Western plains, as 
well as in his long and successful work as a missionary 
teacher and preacher. The mention of such names as 
Lieutenant-Governor Aikins, Lieutenant-Governor Richey, 
M. B. Roblin, Esq., Horace Yeomans, Esq., Colonel Stough- 
ton Dennis, A. E. Van Norman and O. W. Powell ; with 
such ladies as Mrs. Nathan Jones, the Misses Adams, Mrs. 
Yeomans, Mrs. Judge Macdonald and Mrs. I. B. Howard, 
will show to those acquainted with the inner history of 
Canadian Methodism, as well as with our political and social 
life, how important was the work of this period and how 
widespread its influence. 

After five years of successful academic work, during 
which hundreds of youth of both sexes and various religious 

Methodist Education in Canada. 305 

denominations received a substantial education, Upper 
Canada Academy, by Act of the Provincial Parliament, was CvV>« 
endowed with university powers and became, under its 
extended royal charter, Vict oria C ollege, on August 27th, 

1841. In October of that year, the Rev. E. Ryerson, D.D., 
was appointed the first principal of the c olleg e and professor 
of moral philosophy, and on the 21st of that month opened 
the session and commenced his duties by a public address to 
the students. This was the first opening in Ontario of an 
institution authorized to confer degrees. Queen's College 
and University (Presbyterian) was opened on the 7th of 
March, 184J2 ; and King's College, the then provincial college 
under the control of the Church of England, on the 8th of 
June, 1843. To the Methodist Church belongs the honour 
of leading the way in university work n Western Canada. 

During the first year the management of the incipient 
university devolved on the Rev. Mr. Hurlburt. In June, 

1842, Dr. Ryerson, released from external labours which 
had devolved upon him, devoted himself more fully to his 
college work. The occasion was marked by an inaugural 
address more formal and comprehensive than that of the 
preceding October, and setting forth the conception enter- 
tained by the new president of the university training 
required by the Canadian student. On two points he antici- 
pates the great movement of university reform of modern 
times. The first is the prominent position which lie assigns 
to the English language and literature as elements of a 
university education. At the close of several pages devoted 
to this subject, he says, " What I have said is designed to 
show that I do not undervalue the English classics and the 
philosophical and literary resources of our own language, 
and that youth who cannot acquire the mastery of other 

306 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

tongues ought not to be excluded from the invaluable mines 
of wisdom and knowledge which are contained in their own 

The second is the appreciation of the physical sciences. 
On this point be says : " The physical sciences have, as yet, 
received little attention in our higher schools in this Pro- 
vince. Instruction has been chiefly confined to the classics, 
and students have acquired little or no knowledge of 
natural philosophy, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, astro- 
nomy, etc., except what they have attained in another 
Province, or in a foreign country. If one branch of educa- 
tion must be omitted, surely the knowledge of the laws of 
the universe is of more practical advantage, socially and 
morally, than a knowledge of Greek and Latin." 

The magnificent modern courses of science in our uni- 
versities have not passed the limit here sketched. In com- 
mencing his work, Dr. Ryerson was supported by a staff of 
men distinguished for learning but still more for individual 
ability as educators. Mr. Hurlburt became professor of 
the natural sciences. Mr. Van Norman, distinguished as a 
grammarian, became the professor of classics. To these 
were added Mr. William Kingston, M. A., whose reputation 
as a professor of mathematics was well known to some 
thirty successive classes of students in the halls of Victoria. 
In addition to these, an English master was employed ; the 
second of these, the Rev. James Spencer, M.A., was well 
known afterward as a man of mark in Canadian Metho- 
dism, wielding a gifted pen, and editor of the Christian 
Guardian. Dr. Ryerson evidently understood that the 
strength of an institution of learning lies not so much in 
magnificent buildings or expensive equipments, as in men 
of rare ability as teachers ; and in the selection of these he 

Methodist Education in Canada. 807 

was singularly fortunate. Around such a college president, 
and such a faculty, there gathered at once the strongest 
young mind of the country. The name of Rev. S. S. Nelles, 
D.D., LL.D.; Rev. William Ormiston, D.D., LL.D. ; Rev. 
W. S. Griffin, D.D. ; Hon. Senator Brouse, M.D. ; Hon. 
William McDougall, C.B. ; Judge Springer, M.A.; J. E. 
Hodgins, M. A., LL.D., Deputy Minister of Education ; 
J. L. Biggar, M.P., will be recognized as men eminent in 
Church and State, and in college life and work, all of whom 
were students of this period. Of Dr. Ryerson's work as 
College President, Dr. Ormiston writes : — 

"In the autumn of 1843 I went to Victoria College, 
doubting much whether I was prepared to matriculate as a 
freshman. Though my attainments in some of the subjects 
prescribed for examination were far in advance of the 
requirements, in other subjects I knew I was sadly defi- 
cient. On the evening of my arrival, while my mind was 
burdened with the importance of the step I had taken, and 
by no means free from anxiety about the issue, Dr. Ryerson, 
at that time Principal of the College, visited me in my 
room. I shall never forget that interview. He took me 
by the hand, and few men could express as much by a mere 
hand-shake as he. It was a welcome, an encouragement, 
an inspiration, and an earnest of future fellowship and 
friendship. It lessened the timid awe I naturally felt 
toward one in so elevated a position. I had never before 
seen a principal of a college ; it dissipated all boyish awk- 
wardness and awakened filial confidence. He spoke of 
Scotland, my native land, and of her noble sons, distin- 
guished in every branch of philosophy and literature ; 
specially of the number, the diligence, the frugality, self- 
denial, and success of her college students. In this way he 
soon led me to tell him of my parentage, past life and 
efforts, present hopes and aspirations. His manner was so 
gracious and paternal, his sympathy so quick and genuine, 
his counsel so ready and cheering, his assurances so grateful 

308 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 


and inspiring, that not only was my heart his from thai 
hour, but my future career seemed brighter and mon 
certain than it had ever appeared before. Dr. Ryerson was 
at that time, in the prime of a magnificent manhood ; his 
mental powers vigorous and well-disciplined, his attain 
ments in literature extended and diversified, his fame as i. 
preacher of great pathos and power, widely spread. . . 
As a teacher, he was earnest and efficient, eloquent anc 
inspiring. His methods of examination furnished the verj 
best of mental discipline, fitted alike to cultivate th( 
memory and strengthen the judgment. All the students 
revered him, but the best of the class appreciated him most 
His counsels were faithful and judicious, his admonition! 
paternal and discriminating, his rebukes, seldom adminis 
tered, but scathingly severe. No student ever left hi: 
presence without resolving to do better, to aim higher, an( 
to win his approval." 

The presence of such a man, surrounded and supporte< 
by able instructors in various departments of learning, wa 
sufficient to give great popularity to this first Canadiai 
college, and quickened the spirit of the whole people in thi 
direction of higher learning, until, by 1843, there wer 
three colleges in active operation in Ontario, besides McGil] 
in Quebec. An effort was made at that early date to com 
bine the three colleges of the western province in a Pre 
vincial University. The Hon. Mr. Baldwin introduced : 
bill for University Federation, but the defeat of the minis 
try prevented its becoming law. The attempt was renewei 
in 1846, with no better success, and when a Universit; 
Bill was finally passed in 1849, it included but one of th 
three colleges. 

Meantime the first principal, Dr. Hyerson, was called t 
the chief superintendency of education for the Province 
His place was filled by the Rev. Alexander McNab, D.D 

Methodist Education in Canada. 209 

under whose administration the college held a good position 
for four years, numbering in 1848, 140 students. During 
this period Judge Springer, Rev. Dr. Ormiston, Rev. Prof. 
Wright, Dr. Cameron and Mr. Campbell were graduated 
in arts. 

The resignation of Dr. McNab, in 1849, closed the first 
period of the history of Victoria College, in which the 
institution was limited to purely college work, that is, the 
training of students in the elements of a general and liberal 
education, leading to the B.A. degree. 

Disturbing influences connected with the resignation of 
the principal and an interregnum of a year and a half, dis- 
persed the students and seriously interfered with the future 
prospects of the college. The Methodists were anxious to 
fall in with the popular movement for a national university. 
Negotiations were commenced with that in view, and a bill 
obtained authorizing the removal of the college to Toronto. 
The Government of the day did not, however, prove to be 
sufficiently earnest in purpose to carry the matter to com- 
pletion, and the only result was the abortive affiliation pro- 
vision of the University Act of 1853. Meantime, the leaders 
of Methodism felt that the position won by such noble and 
self-sacrificing efforts in the past must not be abandoned, 
and a young minister just ordained, a graduate of Wesleyan 
University, Middletown, and one of the first undergradu- 
ates of Victoria under Dr. Ryerson, was called to preside 
over the destinies of the Methodist college in September, 
1850. This was the Rev. S. S. Nelles, M.A., with whose 
name the history of Victoria, in its growth toward univer- 
sity status, is most intimately henceforward associated. 

The young Principal was then but twenty-seven years of 
age ; an excellent scholar, an eloquent preacher, and a most 

310 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

• \ 

successful and thorough teacher, but with a task before him 
of great difficulty. The college treasury was empty. There 
, was absolutely no endowment. 

The buildings and furniture, after fifteen years of constant 
wear by hundreds of students, were sadly in need of repair 
and renewal. The able professors of other days had betaken 
themselves to other work, and there were scarcely thirty 
students (but two matriculated) to respond to his call of 
college opening. To raise funds for an endowment sufficient 
to bring the annual income of the college up to $5,000, to 
organize an efficient staff of professors, to attract and 
organize students once more into the relations of college life, 
in fact, to resuscitate the college, was the work before him. 
Meantime the Revs. John Ryerson, Dr. E. Ryerson, Richard 
Jones and Dr. Green, J. P. Roblin, M.P., John Counter, 
Esq., and Rev. William Case of the original founders, were 
still members of the corporation, and afforded counsel and 
support; while Dr. Wood, Dr. Rice and Mr. Musgrove, who 
represented English Methodism, and three old students, 
Messrs. Sanderson, Biggar and Powell, were added to the 
corporation, and lent their help in the effort. The first 
struggle was for financial relief. This was attempted in 
September, 1851, by the inauguration of what was known 
as the scholarship scheme — an effort to raise $50,000 by the 
sale of 500 scholarships, good for free tuition in this college 
for twenty-five years' from that date. At the following 
Conference, consisting of, all told, 150 ministers and 
preachers, ninety of these scholarships were sold to minis- 
ters, and between three and four hundred were disposed in 
all, realizing about $30,000 in principal, but depriving the 
institution of all income from fees, for twenty-five years to 

Methodist Education in Canada. 311 

But, if not a grand success in raising funds, the scholar- 
ships were a means of increasing the number of students. 
Meantime the Board were also successful in bringing to the 
support of the Principal, three very able members of the 
former staff: Prof. Kingston, in mathematics ; Prof. John 
Wilson, in classics; and Prof. John Beatty, M.D., in natural 
science. These men were as varied in gifts and scholarship 
as the departments over which they presided. Prof. Kings- 
ton was an embodiment of the exactness of mathematical 
scienee, and no student could pass through his hands with- 
out learning to define and demonstrate. Prof. Wilson, of 
Trinity College, Dublin, was famed for the unfailing accu- 
racy and extent of his scholarship, for his fine literary taste, 
and for the beautiful Christian perfection of his character, 
which was a constant living example to all the boys. Dr. 
Bratty was a scientist, a man of the world, and a leader in 
the Church ; one of those clear, active, versatile and strong 
minds, that young men delight to follow. When at the 
head of all these was placed the learning, the philosophical 
acumen, the brilliant eloquence, and the administrative 
ability of the President, Victoria found a staff, which for 
the purposes of college discipline, could not easily be excelled. 
Meantime, under their hands, the gathered masses of raw 
material soon began to organize into a well defined college 
life. The number of students rose to nearly 300, and the 
regular undergraduate classes, which had all disappeared 
save one, during the interregnum, were again filled out. 

At this formative period, when the traditions which so 
powerfully regulate student-life were being established, it 
was the blessed fortune of the college to be visited with a 
great revival. An old student, Rev. G. R. Sanderson, was 
the pastor. About a dozen faithful, godly young men, the 

312 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

most of whom are prominent leaders in the Church to-day 
(four have been Conference Presidents), formed a band for 
prayer and work among their fellow-students. When the 
work began, not twenty-five per cent, of the students were 
professing Christians. At the end, not five per cent, were 
left unmoved by the power of saving grace. Out of the 
fruits of that revival came a score of ministers, a number 
of Conference Presidents, one of our General Superinten- 
dents, and a large number of the leading Christian laymen 
of our Church to-day. But better even than that, the 
ablest, oldest and most advanced students all converted, a 
high moral and religious tone became an established tradi- 
tion of the college, continuously maintained through the 
thirty classes that have graduated out of college to this 
day. There has been very little serious difficulty about the 
discipline of the college from that day to this. It was 
about this time that Rev. Dr. Rice became associated with 
the institution as moral Governor and Chaplain, and by the 
great force of his Christian character d d much to establish 
atid perfect the religious life commenced in the great re- 

The period had now arrived for the expansion of the 
college life and work into that of the university. The 
development of Victoria University was at first along the 
old-fashioned line, and fortunately in such a way as not to 
interfere with college work. A faculty of medicine was 
established in 1854, but in the city of Toronto, and with 
an entirely independent teaching staff and financial man- 
agement. A similar faculty of law was added in 1860, and 
a faculty of theology, in closer relations to the college, in 
1871. During all this time the faculty of arts adhered 
faithfully to the old college discipline of classics, mathe- 

Methodist Education in Canada. 313 

matics, and philosophy, with a moderate addition of modern 
literature and science. The number of undergraduates in 
arts exceeded at no time 150, and no Canadian college did 
more thorough work along this line than Victoria. Her 
university work in distinct lines gave her the advantage of 
moral influence and support in the country, as her graduates 
in medicine alone now number over one thousand. 

Victoria has, however, shared with all other American 
institutions the influence of modern ideas, and has felt tin- 
pressure of the claims of modern science. As early as I806, 
the introduction of Dr. Whitlock, formerly of Genesee 
Wesleyan Seminary and ■ College, into the staff, in the 
department of natural philosophy, gave an impulse in that 
direction. He was a man of rare genius — a philosopher 
rather than a professor, who thought aloud before his class, 
and suffered them to imbibe the fire of his own spirit. He 
was followed, in 1864, by Dr. Harris, now of Amherst 
College, a man who had then just graduated from a German 
university, and who moulded students with a strong hand, 
leaving on all his men a very decided impress of the cul- 
ture of physical and chemical science. Meantime other 
changes favoured this incipient tendency. Professor P>ain 
succeeded Professor Kingston in the chair of mathematics, 
bringing from Europe the modern taste for the employment 
of mathematics as the instrument of scientific investigation. 
A chair of English literature was established in the hands 
of Professor Keynar, and a new impulse given to that 
department, as well as to modern literature generally. 
Finally, in 1873, Dr. Haanel took charge of the depart- 
ment of science. Bringing with him fine scholarship, and 
employing it with an ability and enthusiasm rarely equalled, 
what was a chair, under his hand soon expanded into a 

3L4< Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

department, presenting a complete curriculum in science, 
embracing varied work in mathematics and modern litera- 
ture, and rendering necessary the chair in natural history 
and g°ology, now tilled by Dr. Coleman, and the erection of 
Faraday Hall for the science department. 

These steps in advance were not taken without involving 
considerable financial embarrassment. In 1860, an effort 
was made to claim the relations to the Provincial university 
system, to which the early history of Victoria University 
fully entitled her. But the effort, while resulting in good 
to the university work of the country at large, brought 
Victoria merely a slightly increased subsidy from the public 
funds. A considerable debt had accumulated during the 
ten years of struggle in which Dr. INelles and his staff had 
been engaged to secure a position as a university, and which 
was wiped out by the energetic efforts of Rev. Dr. Ayles- 
w^rth, between the years of 1862 and 1865, and the college 
placed in a position to make income equal to expenditure. 
Scarcely, however, was this effected, when, in 1868, a com- 
bination of adverse forces in Parliament deprived both 
Victoria University and Queen's College of the annual 
grants which for twenty-seven years they had received from 
the Government ; and financial ruin once more stared our 
college in the face. At this juncture the late Dr. Punshon 
became associated with Canadian Methodism. He at once 
threw his influence into the effort made by President Nelles 
for the college endowment. The Conference seconded and 
supported the work, its members for several years taxing 
their salaries to meet the annual deficit. In a few years an 
endowment of $100,000 was raised, more than replacing 
the grant so unceremoniously withdrawn. At the same 
time the growing necessities of the university began to 

MclJwdist Education in Canada. 315 

attract the attention of broad-minded, generous and wealthy 
men. The late Edward Jackson led the way in this work. 
The theological department was projected under his patron- 
age ; he, and his equally generous and devoted wife, con- 
tributing by gift and bequ st, $30,000 for this purpose, 
resulting in the appointment of the writer as Dean of the 
faculty of theology and Professor of Biblical and systematic 
theology. A few years later, another gentleman, a partner 
and life-long friend of Mr. Jackson, Dennis Moore, Esq., 
contributed 8-5,000, to assist in the extension of the depart- 
ment of science. The death of Dr. Ptyerson was the 
occasion of a worthy memorial effort, now nearly completed, 
to endow the chair of moral philosophy which he had rilled 
during his presidency, with the sum of $35,000. The late 
Sheriff Patrick has also left a bequest of some $20,000, so 
that at the time of the Union, the assets of the College 
were about $250,000, and the annual income about $20,0 0. 
In the meantime, the collateral branches of the educa- 
tional work of Canadian Methodism in Ontario had grown 
up side by side with this parent stem. Victoria University, 
as we have traced its history, while at first the college of an 
almost united Methodism, became specially the institution 
of the Wesleyan Methodists. But the Episcopal branch of 
Methodism laid its foundations so broadly in the Province 
of Ontario as to be able, in 1857, to found a second Metho- 
dist seminary of learning. At its head was placed one of 
Victoria's oldest graduates, the Rev. Albeit Carman, D.D., 
now General Superintendent of the Methodist Church. For 
nine years after its foundation the work of the institution 
was entirely of an academic character. Its success in this 
respect led to the belief that the interests of the Church it 
represented, and also the interests of higher education, 

316 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

would be better served if it were in possession of university 
powers. An Act of Parliament to that effect was obtained 
in 1866, and the institution exercised its university func- 
tions until its consolidation with Victoria, in 1884. Dur- 
ing these eighteen years it graduated seventy-six young men 
as Bachelors of Arts. Among these may be mentioned the 
senior graduates, Rev. Dr. Aylesworth, pastor of one of the 
Methodist Churches, Strathroy ^ Judge Carman, Cornwall ; 
Rev. Dr. Lane, for several years, until failing health 
forced him to retire from the pulpit, one of the leading 
preachers in New York city Methodism ; Rev. Dr. Badgley, 
Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy in Victoria 
University; Dr. Mclntyre, for many years Principal of 
Brantford Ladies' College, and now Principal of the Ladies' 
College, Bloor Street, Toronto ; Principal Austin and Pro- 
fessor Warner, of Alma Ladies' College ; Principal Dyer, 
of Albert College; Rev. F. McAmmond, Principal of 
Stanstead College ; A. W. Bannister, Principal of St. Fran- 
cis College ; Rev. Dr. George, of Belleville ; Rev. J. Burton, 
Toronto ; H. F. Gardiner, editor of the Hamilton Times^ 
and for many years one of the foremost reporters and lead- 
ing writers in Canadian journalism ; and F. W. Merchant, 
one of the most representative teachers in the Province, and 
now Principal of the Collegiate Institute, London. 

From 185S to 1876 the institution was under the able 
and vigorous administration of Rev. Dr. Carman, General 
Superintendent of the Methodist Church. For the next ten 
years the Rev. Dr. Jacques was President. He was suc- 
ceeded four years ago by the present Principal, Rev. W. P. 
Dver, M.A. 

Since the Union the institution has been in affiliation 
with Victoria University, to which it is a most important 

JMetJiodist Education in Canada. 317 

auxiliary, and to which the Rev. E I. Badgley, LL. D., has 
been transfer ted, as Professor of Mental and Moral Philo- 

From its foundation until the present the school has been 
open to both sexes. The number of graduates in arts repre 
sents but a fraction of the work done. The records show 
an annual attendance, from 1857 to the present, of from 100 
to 200 students. Since the Union the attendance has 
largely increased, the result of a larger constituency being 
opened to it, and its influence upon the Church and upon 
the public is constantly growing. 

About the year 1860, the attention of Canadian Metho- 
dism was first seriously turned to the important department 
of higher education represented by the Ladies' College. The 
Upper Canada Academy in its first inception had provided 
for the education of both sexes. The Belleville Seminary 
had been founded upon the same principle of co education. 
In these days no Canadian young woman had as yet ventured 
upon a university course, and the elevation of Victoria to 
university status had virtually excluded the ladies from its 
halls. The Rev. Dr. Rice, Rev. Dr. Rose, and Rev. Richard 
Jones all threw themselves with great enthusiasm into the 
project of founding a college especially adapted for the edu- 
cational requirements of young ladies. In this task they 
were nobly seconded by such men as Edward Jackson, 
Edward Gurney, Dennis Moore, the late Dr. McQuesten, 
and the Hon. W. E. Sanford. The result of their work was, 
in 1861, the opening of the Wesley an Ladies' College, of 
Hamilton, which has now for thirty years maintained its 
position as the pioneer in this special line of educational 
work. Commencing its work with a faculty of great ability, 
including such names as the Rev. I>r. Kiee, in Moral l'hilo- 

318 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

sophy ; the Rev. Wesley P. Wright, M. A., in Science ; the 
Misses Adams, the one as Lady Principal, the other as Pro- 
fessor of Mathematics ; it soon won for itself a high reputa- 
tion for the thoroughness of its intellectual work, for the 
genuine refinement of its Christian culture, and for its deep 
moral power in moulding the noblest types of womanly 

The success of this first institution led to the founding of 
the Ontario Ladies' College, at Whitby, in 1874, principally 
through the self-sacrificing efforts of the Rev. Jos. E. San- 
derson, M.A. Another decade brought the founding of 
Alma College, at St. Thomas, by the Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. At the head ot 
these three institutions we have now placed respectively 
the Rev. Alexander Burns, D.D., LL D., Principal of the 
Wesleyan Ladies' College; the Rev. J.J. Hare, M.A , Ph.D., 
principal of the Ontario Ladies' College ; and the Rev. B. 
F. Austin, M.A., B.D., Principal of the Alma College. In 
each of these men the Church has found high university 
attainments, combined with great ability as educators and 
administrators, and no institutions in our country stand 
higher than these in the confidence of the public in their 
moral and intellectual character. 

Of late vears the education of the women of our land 
has taken a new departure. In 1884, Queen's and Victoria 
conferred the first degrees in Arts on Ontario ladies, follow- 
ing Mount Allison, from which young ladies had graduated 
in Arts in 1875 and in 1882. This movement has now 
permanently established itself in all our universities, and 
the lady students alone in the universities of Ontario can 
now be numbered by the hundred, and the lady graduates 
by the score. One of its results has been the affiliation of 

Methodist Education in Canada. 319 

our Ladies' Colleges with Victoria University, affording our 
young ladies all the advantages of the aesthetic culture of 
the special provisions of their own institutions, and com- 
bining with this the advanced special learning of the 
university curriculum. In a curriculum of six years, four 
in the Ladies' College, including such branches of se^thet c 
culture as her natural gifts may indicate, and two in the 
university, completing her higher intellectual training, the 
daughter of Canadian Methodism has offered to her educa- 
tional facilities not to be excelled in any land. 

The last step in the Methodist educational system in 
Ontario is of too recent date to be considered as a matter 
of history. It will rather constitute the foundation of the 
educational work of our second century than appear as a 
constituent part of that of the first. The work which we 
have described, built up in all its essential elements by men 
who have already entered into rest, has ripened into a com- 
pleteness independent in itself. It takes up our young men 
and women at that point in their educational course when 
they are first separated from home. It avails itself in the 
public system of all which can be furnished by the State to 
the child still under the care of the parent. In such in- 
stitutions as Albert, Alma, the Wesleyan and Ontario, it 
combines the Christian home with the college discipline 
and carries our youth up into a comparatively mat uie youn" 
man — or womanhood. Finally it projects itself into the 
university sphere where again it links itself with the pro 
visions of the State, and infuses into the highest forms of 
intellectual culture both the spirit and the truths of our 
holy religion. We hope that it may yet be regarded as the 
crowning glory of this s\ stem, that in taking its leave of 
those whom it has guided through six of the most critical 

320 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

years of human life, it transfers them at once into the 
great brotherhood of the Christian State, as well as into the 
brotherhood of the Methodist Church. If this broader 
Christian spirit is fully secured, the two or three years 
spent in the halls of the federated National and Methodist 
Universities will be amonj; the most fruitful of the whole 
course. As a total result of our fifty-five years' work in 
general education in the Province of Ontario, these institu- 
tions have graduated 550 students to the degree < f B.A., 
more than 500 more to degrees which represent a university 
standing of the second or third year, while the total num- 
ber of students educated within their various halls, would 
be numbered by the tens of thousands. The entire present 
statf in Arts of the University, with its four affiliated 
colleges, numbers over fifty professors and teachers, and the 
number of students enrolled last year in Arts work was 

The special training of the candidates for the Christian 
ministry is by some regarded as the sole form of educational 
work to which the Christian Church is called. Canadian 
Methodism has never yet accepted this position. It is not 
the traditional policy of our Church. But while a broader 
view of our responsibilities has governed the plans and 
labours of the past sixty years, at no time has our Church 
lost sight of the importance of an educated and trained 
ministry. As far back as 1825, measures were adopted for 
the direction of the studies of candidates for the Christian 
ministry, and the Presiding Elders were ordered to devote 
special attention to this duty. In the first college curricu- 
lum of 1841 and 1842 divinity had its place, and the 
Principal was also professor of theology. In the year 1871, 
a school of Theology was practically organized in Victoria 

Methodist Education in Canada. 321 

University. From this school in twenty years 350 students 
have entered the ministry of our Church. The school is 
now provided with a strong working faculty covering all 
the important parts of the most advanced theological curri- 
culum in the work of the lecture-room. 

Before passing away from the educational history of 
Ontario Methodism, there are a few narres of the sainted 
dead who must receive special mention. The eloquent Dr. 
Bichey was our first principal. The mighty Dr. Ryerson 
was our first college president. The brilliant Dr. Nelles 
built our college into a university. The noble Dr. Rice laid 
the foundations of higher education for our daughters, and 
the saintly Dr. McClure was the forerunner of our theo- 
logical schools. The means for the foundation of a theo- 
logical school were not given him, but for one branch of our 
Methodism he did the work of a divinity school by his own 
untiring efforts. The fruits of that effort stand anions our 
best men of the pulpit and the pen to-day. 

The special development of Methodist education in the 
Province of Quebec dates from 1872. The special circum- 
stances of the Province had, from the beginning, separated 
its institutions of learning into two distinct classes, Protes- 
tant and Roman Catholic. As a matter of course, the 
Methodists at once ranged themselves with the supporters 
of the Protestant schools. With the limited Protestant 
population of the country, it would have been useless to 
attempt to maintain a system of Methodist schools and 
colleges. The Methodist interest in education thus centred 
around the Protestant academies of the Eastern Townships 
and the Mdiill Normal and High Schools. The university 
centre <>f the Province for all the Protestant bodies was 
fixed in the city of Montreal at a very early date, and the 

322 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

McGill University has most nobly supplied the great public 
demand which it was created to meet. The only exception 
to the unity of this system was the founding of the Stan- 
stead Wesleyan Academy in 1873. After varying fortunes, 
this academy, though still Methodist in its administration, 
is now unified with the provincial system, and is one of the 
chain of secondary academies or colleges which are affiliated 
with McGill University. 

Some twenty-five or thirty years since, the honoured and 
Christian Principal of McGill University, with statesman- 
like sagacity, conceived the idea of surrounding the Univer- 
sity with a group of Theological Colleges representing the 
great Protestant denominations of Quebec. The Presby- 
terian Theologi -al College was the first of these to be com- 
pleted. The Congregational soon followed, and in 1872, 
with the support of Rev. Dr. Punshon, then President of 
the Wesleyan Conference, the Hon. James Ferrier and 
others, procured from the Conference the resolution author- 
izing the establishment of the Wesleyan Theological College 
of Montreal, and subscribed some $50,000 to initiate the 
enterprise. At the same Conference the Rev. George 
Douglas, LL.D., was appointed the Theological tutor, and 
in 1873 classes were opened in the school-rooms of the 
Dominion Square Methodist Church. In 1874 the Rev. W. 
I Shaw, LL D-, was added to the staff, as professor of 
Greek Testament and Church History, and to his business 
capacity and energy as Secretary, no less than to the com- 
manding talents of the Principal, is due the success and 
growth of the institution. In 1879, it was incorporated by 
Act of the Provincial Legislature, and affiliated in Arts 
with McGill University. In 1883, it was provided with 
commodious and elegant buildings within the University 

Methodist Education in Canada. 323 

square at a cost of some $50,00.0, contributed by the late 
lamented Senator Ferrier and other wealthy Methodists of 
Montreal. In 1889, its charter was extended to embrace 
the power of conferring degrees in divinity, and it is now 
the second in number of students and extent of work of the 
four Theological colleges which surround McGill University. 
Since the foundation of this institution, over 150 candidates 
for the ministry of the Methodist Church have been edu- 
cated in its halls. The staff consists of three professors, and 
the curriculum extends to the degree of B.D. The number 
of students enrolled last year was forty-two. 

The educational institutions of Mount Alli-on University, 
Ladies' College and Academy owe their existence to the 
Christian philanthropy of the late Charles F. Allison, for 
many years a resident of Sackville, IST.B. In the beginning 
of the year 1839, he proposed to the Methodist Church to 
furnish, at his own expense, an eligible site and suitable 
building for an academy. He further offered to contribute 
£100 a year for ten years for the maintenance of the insti- 
tution. His offer was, of course, cheerfully accepted. The 
foundation stone of the building was laid on the 9th of 
July, 1810, and on the morning of the 19th of January, 
184.'), the building was opened for the reception of students. 
The late Rev. Dr. Pickard had, in the meantime, been 
elected principal, and on this occasion, in company with 
the founder and a few friends, and six or seven students 
who presented themselves for admission, a suitable religious 
and dedicatory service was held. The Academy thus 
founded for young men grew so rapidly, that at the end of 
the first decade, the annual attendance averaged 110 stu- 
dents. In 1850, Mr. Allison added to his noble gifts £1000 
for the foundation of a second academy for young ladies. 

32-i Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

At the head of this was placed the Rev. E. Evans, D.D., 
with Miss M. E. Adams as lady principal. 

In the year 1858, on the motion of the generous founder, 

. steps were taken for the establishment of a college, and a 
charter obtained for that purpose from the Legislature of 

; New Brunswick. In the following year, the theological 
department, as the first element of the proposed college 
work was established, and in 1861 the Rev. C. De Wolfe 
was appointed Charles Allison Professor of Theology. In 
1862, the full organization of the College was completed, 
and the college was opened in August of that year, under 
the Presidency of Dr. Pickard, with twelve undergraduates. 
At the close of the college year, 1868-9, Dr. Pickard 
resigned, and was succeeded by David Allison, LL.D., as 
President of the College, and Principal of the Academy for 
young men, while J. R. Inch, LL.D., was appointed the 

^ Principal of the Ladies' Academy. Dr. De Wolfe was, in 
1870, succeeded in the chair of Systematic Theology by 
the Rev. Charles Stewart, D.D., the present Dean of the 
Faculty of Theology, whose zealous, able and extended 
labours have done much for the general advancement of the 
college, as well as for his own chosen department. On the 
appointment of Dr. Allison to the Superintendency of 
Education in the Province of Nova Scotia, Dr. Inch became 
President of the University in 1878. In the year 1883, the 
foundation of the magnificent Centennial Hall was laid, 
and in the following year it was dedicated to the service of 
God and the work of Methodist University education. It 
is the finest college building as yet erected by Canadian 
Methodism. At the same time, the Methodists of the 
Maritime Province have made noble contributions to the 
endowment of their university which now, in staff and 

Methodist Education in Canada. 325 

equipments, ranks with the Lest in Maritime Canada. 
During the past year the Ladies' Academy has been 
enlarged by the addition of a beautiful building to be used 
as a Conservatory of Music. It also contemplates, in con- 
nection with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of 
the institution, in 1892, to add a commodious college 
residence to the present group of buildings, as well as to 
increase the present endowment. 

As a result of eighteen years of college work, Mount 
Allison University has graduated 154 students in Arts and 
Science, and four to the degree of B.D. in Divinity. Among 
these are such men of note as the Hon. Mr. Justice Bur- 
bidge, Dr. Weldon, M.P.; Dr Stockton, Mr. Wood, MP.; Dr. 
Sprague, Dr. Inch, Dr. A. D. Smith, Professors Brecken and 
Borden. These well-known names are representative of 
thousands who have been trained under the care of the 
present staff and their predecessors in office. The staff now 
includes eight professors. There were enrolled last year 
ninetv-eisht students in Arts, sixteen in Theology 15G in 
the Ladies' College, and ninety-one in the Academy for 
Young Men. 

The great work of higher education in what we, as yet, 
call the North-western Provinces of our Dominion, is still 
in its infancy. A system of public schools has been estab- 
lished, and secondary schools have been founded in Winni- 
peg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Kegina and elsewhere. 
In all these the Methodist people take a leading interest, 
and will doubtless shape their entire future policy in har- 
mony with them. The University of Manitoba, already 
organized, is based upon the federal principle, and already 
embraces four colleges. One of these, Wesley College, 
Winnipeg, was founded by our Church in 1873, but after a 

32G Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

struggling existence as a High School, was discontinued on 
the establishment of the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute. 
Immediately after the General Conference of 1886 prepara- 
tions were made for the re-establishment of the college as a 
part of the newly-founded University of Manitoba. In 
1888, the Rev. J. W. Sparling, M.A., D.D., was appointed 
principal, and a staff of professors selected, and work com- 
menced. The first students, two in number, were sent up to 
the Provincial university for graduation in 1890, and at the 
examination of that year four scholarships were won by stu- 
dents of Wesley College. The attendance last year was thirty- 
five, including twenty candidates for the Methodist ministry. 
A professor of Theology has been appointed, and the founda- 
tion laid for a divinity school, as well as of a college in Arts. 
Four professors in Arts are employed, constituting in com- 
bination with an equal number attached t > the Manitoba 
College (Presbyterian), a very efficient teaching staff. It is 
ftnly needed that the Government of Manitoba should erect 
a common science hall, open to the students of all four 
colleges, to give the federated University of Manitoba the 
full strength needed for the most vigorous growth. This, 
and the development^ of the secondary schools throughout 
the Province, will enable this land of boundless resources to 
take a foremost position in the very near future. 

The educational agencies of our Missionary Societies con- 
stitute a most important part of the contributions of our 
Church to this work. We borrow from the last report of 
the Educational Society the following summary statement : — 
" The following is a list of the institutions : The Anglo- 
Japanese College at Tokyo ; the Chinese Schools at Vic- 
toria, Vancouver and New Westminster, B.C. ; 27 Indian 
Schools, viz. — In Ontario, 11 ; west of Ontario, 13 ; Quebec, 

Methodist Education in Canada. 327 

3 ; and four French Schools. The Woman's Missionary 
Society is vigorously prosecuting its educational work in 
connection with the Ladies' Schools at Tokyo, Shizuoka, 
and Kofu, Japan ; the McDougall Orphanage at Morley ; 
the Crosby Home, at Port Simpson ; the Indian Boarding 
School, at Chilliwhack ; and the Chinese Rescue Home, 
Victoria. Some of the institutions are extensively enlarg- 
ing their operations — notably the French Methodist Insti- 
tute in Montreal, for which large and suitable buildings 
have been completed in the western suburbs of the city. 
Rev. W. Hall, A.M., has been appointed Principal of the 
institution, which is designed to accommodate 100 students." 


" This institution has had marked success during the past 
year. Provided with a very tine suite of buildings contain- 
ing most eligible school-rooms, etc., and with a good supply 
of apparatus for the laboratory and of other appointments 
for educational work, it has an efficient stafi of instructors, 
two of whom are university graduates, and four others 
highly-certificated teachers. Besides, in the Primary and 
Model School it has two teachers of the first grade. The 
average attendance of pupils per quarter was 220 in the 
college proper, and 112 in the Primary School. Thirty-one 
persons were under training as pupil-teachers, and eleven 
received certificates. The Home provides board, etc., for 
non-resident students from the outports, and has had a most 
successful year under the management of the Rev. George 
P. Story, Guardian and Chaplain, supplying a need long and 
urgently felt by the denomination. The Methodist schools 
of the colony, numbering 135, are under the superintendence 
of the Rev. George S. Milligan, LL.D., according to whose 

328 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

latest report, education is making much progress : the total 
attendance in these was 7,913, an increase of 496 during 
the year." 

To obtain a complete view of the relation of the Metho- 
dist Church to the work of education, our Sabbath-schools 
must be taken into account. Embracing as they do, nearly 
3,000 schools and a quarter of a million of pupils, they 
begin at the very foundations of the moral and religious 
work of which our colleges and universities are the cope- 
stone. This system which thus completed places our Church 
in the closest contact with the whole range of Educational 
work and influence in every part of our country, is perhaps 
the most complete to be found in any part of the Anglo- 
Saxon world. It affords the Church an unlimited facility 
for the combination of spiritual and religious truth, and 
influence with the intellectual growth and life of all our 
people. The masses and the most highly educated are alike 
reached by its influence. It is free from all the objections 
which lie against a church-state system, and yet it largely 
avoids the narrowness of isolation, and the weakness which 
in a young country must inevitably result from sectarian 
•division in the work of education. It gives us all the 
breadth and wealth of resources of a national system with 
all the moral safe-guards and spiritual power of a religious 
system. The great duty of the present hour is the strength- 
ening and perfecting of the system already established. 
Our fathers have laid the foundations, a second generation 
have raised the walls, which it is ours now to complete as a 
glorious temple of religion and truth. 

In the year 1874 was begun the important work of 
unifying and strengthening our educational forces through 
& general Educational Society. The General Conference 

Methodist Education in Canada. 329 

which completed the first union established the Educational 
Society, embracing the entire educational work of the 
Church then united, and the present writer was appointed 
the first Secretary, with the Hon. W. E. Sanford as Trea- 
surer. The advance of the whole Methodist people in 
liberal appreciation of the importance of their educational 
work has been since that date one of the greatest triumphs 
of our Church. 

When in 1886 the General Conference resolved upon the 
new departure involved in the federation movement, the 
Rev. Dr. Potts was appointed Secretary, and was entirely 
set apart to that work. At that date the income of the 
Educational Society had never reached $12,000. Last year 
it was already more than 820,000. In the meantime the 
processes of organization and consolidation already described, 
were quietly progressing. The federation movement, with 
the sharp opposition it has provoked, has completed the 
awakening of our Church upon this subject, and we enter 
upon our second century with a noble wealth of resources 
already laid upon the altar for this work, and with the in- 
spiration of the example of the Jacksons, Moore, (looder- 
ham, Patrick, Macdonald, Walker (not to speak of living 
names, whom we trust to see long spared to the Church), 
to stimulate us for the future. With nineteen professors 
and 327 students in our university faculties of Arts, eleven 
professors and 144 students in our faculties of Divinity, and 
1,262 students in our various academies, a noble work is 
now being done, and with the nearly one and a half millions 
of resources which are to-day being placed in our hands for 
this work, our responsibilities and opportunities for the 
future far surpass those of the past. 




By the Rev. George H. Cornish, LL.D. 

THE study of the numerical history of the first one 
hundred years in Canadian Methodism must prove 
to be of great interest to all lovers of Methodist doc- 
trine and discipline in this great Dominion. In the 
year 1790, only a few months before the death of John 
Wesley, whose Centennial Memorial is to be celebrated 
by Methodists in all parts of the world on March '2nd, 
1891, William Lossee, a young preacher, on probation 
for the ministry, in the New York Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, found 
his way into what was then known as Upper Canada. He 
visited the settlers, and preached in the neighbourhood of 
the Bay of Quinte, and along the St. Lawrence. In the 
summer of 1 7 !> 1 his Conference appointed him to Kingston 
as the first minister to the first circuit in Canadian Meth- 
odism. As a result of his faithful labours, he reported to 
the Conference of 1792 a membership of 16">. 

Thirty years later, when the First Canada Conference 


Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

was organized, there was reported for the year 1824: Min- 
isters, 36 ; members, whites 6,094, Indians 56 ; total, 6,150. 

Nine years more pass away, and we are brought to the 
period of the First Methodist Union, when the numbers 
reported were: 1833 — Ministers, 81; members, whites 
15,126, Indians 913; total, 16,039. 

As the years rolled on, and the population of the country 
increased, Methodism continued to grow in numbers and 
influence. In 1854, the Hudson's Bay Missionary District 
and the Lower Canada District, both of which had been, up 
to that year, in connection with the British Wesleyan Con- 
ference, were, with the hearty concurrence of the Parent 
Body, annexed to the Canadian Wesleyan work. The fol- 
lowing schedule will show the 





10 years. 





10 years. 


















In 1874 a Union was consummated between the Wes- 
leyan Methodist Church in Canada, the Wesleyan Meth- 
odist Church in Eastern British America, and the Methodist 
New Connexion Church in Canada. The numbers reported 
by these Churches, on entering the Union, were as follows : — 

Statistical Record of Methodism in Canada. 333 



















Wesleyan Methodist in Canada 
Wesleyan Methodist in E. B. A. 
Methodist New Connexion 
















2,571 ' 20,635 

13,277 ; 101,21- 

Returns in Minutes of Conference incomplete. 

The three branches of Methodism above-named being 
now united in one body, under the comprehensive name of 
The Methodist Church of Canada, was subdivided into 
six Annual Conferences. These, at the General Conference 
of 1878, reported a net increase for the Quadrennium of 
134 ministers, 20,659 members, 221 Sunday-schools, 2,174 
Sunday-school officers and teachers, and ID, 754 scholars,, 
as may be seen from the following schedule : — 


Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 



















Nova Scotia 

New Brunswick & Prince Edward Is'd 




























122 605 














From the statistical record of Methodism, as contained in 
the Minutes of the several Annual Conference^, and reported 
to the General Conferences, we turn aside to examine the 
numerical strength of Methodism as it is represented in the 


which was the last taken. As will be seen from the follow- 
ing figures, the record is one for which we may humbly 
and devoutly thank God. What hath God wrought? To 
Him let all praise be given ! Who could have predicted 
that in the ninetieth year of its age in Canada, Methodism 
would occupy a position numerically in advance of all the 
Protestant Churches of the Dominion % We quote the 
largest denominations only : — 

The Methodist population of the Dominion is. . . . 742,981 
it Presbyterian n n i» .... 676, 155 
m Church of England .1 it .. 574,818 

Statistical Record of Methodism i?i Canada. 335 

While the entire population of the Dominion, from 1871 to 
1881, increased at the rate of 25 per cent., the Methodist 
population increased 35 per cent. 

We will now see how the above Methodist population is 
divided among the several branches of the Methodist 
family: — 

The Methodist Church of Canada 582,963 

i. Methodist Episcopal 103,272 

,. Bible Christian 27,236 

n Primitive Methodist 25,680 

British Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist 

and Free Methodist 3,830 

Total 742,981 

If we examine the statistics of the Churches as given for 

the Province of Ontario, we shall find that Methodism was 

reported as being far ahead of all the other Churches, both 

Protestant and Roman Catholic. The figures are : 

Methodists in Ontario 591,503 

Presbyterians n 417,749 

Church of England 366,539 

Roman Catholics „ 320,839 

We will pass over the report of the Quadrennium, as 
given at the General Conference of 1882, and refer to the 
Journal of the United General Conference of 1883. During 
the five years from 1878 to 1883, there was a net increase 
in the six Annual Conferences of 51 ministers, 6,039 mem- 
bers, 23.") Sunday-schools, 1,030 Sunday-school teachers, and 
11,34S Sunday-school scholars. 

Henceforth the Methodism of Canada is to be united: 
The Methodist Church of Canada, The Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Canada, The Primitive Methodist Church in 
Canada, and The Bible Christian Church in Canada, having 
agreed on a Basis of Union, are to be known by the dis 
tinctive name of The Methodist Church. 



Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

The numerical strength of the Four Uniting Churches 
may be seen in the following schedules : — 


Sunday Schools. 







Methodist of Canada . . 






Methodist Episcopal . . 






Primitive Methodist . . 
















* Newfoundland, though not a part of the Dominion of Canada, is part of the 
Methodist Church of Canada, therefore the statistics of the Newfoundland Confer- 
ence are here included. 







■w jj 



o u 





•o 5 










"3 c 





> 3 


« 2 a 


Methodist of Canada. 
Methodist Episcopal . 
Primitive Methodist . 
Bible Christian 


























In accordance with the recommendation of the Committee 
on Conference Boundaries, the whole work was divided into 
Ten Annual Conferences. In the Eastern Section — three, 

Statistical Record of Methodism in Canada. 337 

namely : The Nova Scotia Conference, the New Brunswick 
and Prince Edward Island Conference, the Newfoundland 
Conference. In the "Western Section — seven, namely : The 
Toronto Conference, the London Conference, the Guelph 
Conference, the Niagara Conference, the Bay of Quinte 
Conference, the Montreal Conference, and the Manitoba 
and North- West Conference. Two more Annual Confer- 
ences have since been organized, namely : The British 
Columbia Conference, in May, 1887, and the Japan Con- 
ference, in June, 1889, thus giving a total of 12 Annual 
Conferences, 99 districts, and 1,329 circuits and missions. 

We now pass over the encouraging report of the first 
three years of United Methodism, as given in the Journals 
of the Second General Conference, in 1886, and proceed to 
the reports of the several Annual Conferences as tabulated 
for the Third General Conference, in 1890. We shall thus 
more readily see how wonderful has been the increase during 
the seven years of Union — from 1883 to 1890. 




Ministers and Probationers for ministry 

Members (including those on trial) 


Sunday-school Teachers 

Sunday -school Scholars 



Value of Church Property 




















* Notb. — At the General Conference of 1N86, a decrease of 216 churches wai 
reported ; this was owing to the fact, that after the union of 1883, a large number 
of the churches were closed, and subsequently s"ld; hence the total reported in 
1886 was 2,943, but in the ensuing four years there was an increase of 149, showing 
a present total of 3,092. 

338 Centennial of Canadian Methodism. 

It may be interesting now to notice the increase of 


during the same period. The number of members as here 
given for 1883 includes the membership of all the uniting 
Churches, as reported to the several Conferences preceding 
the Union. The total membership in each city, multiplied 
by three, will give the probable Methodist population. 

Name of City. 









seven yrs. 






Brantf ord 

St. John, N.B 


Ottawa . 

Halifax, N.S 


St. Thomas 


St. Catharines , 

Charlottetown, P. E. I 

Victoria, B.C 


















































2 310 

In the missionary and educational work, in the opera- 
tions and conditions of the book and publishing house, in 
Toronto, in the periodical literature, and in the income of 

Statistical Record of Methodism in Canada. 339 

the missionary and other connexional funds, there has also 
been a wonderful growth, and especially during the past 
seven years, but the time allotted to me for the preparation 
of this paper being so brief, in connection with the pressure 
of other duties, renders it impossible for me to examine the 
necessary data for the preparation of schedules showing the 
annual or quadrennial increases. I would, therefore, refer 
all who may desire further information on the items referred 
to, to Vol. II. of the " Cyclopaedia of Methodism in 
Canada," covering the years from 1880 to 1891, which we 
hope to publish shortly. 

In view of what has been achieved in the century of 
Methodism in Canada, now closing, and the foremost posi- 
tion occupied by Methodism in this growing Dominion, may 
we not expect that by the blessing of God this great Church, 
with her multiplied and ever-increasing agencies, will go 
forward in the work of winning souls to Christ, and so 
haste on the millennial glory of His kingdom 1